Mount Polley Mining Corporation plans to lay off about 78 employees by the end of 2018 to pay for work it still has to complete because of the Aug. 2014 tailings breach. Photo submitted

Staged layoffs at Mount Polley in 2018 will impact 78 jobs

Mount Polley Mine is beginning staged lay-offs to pay for projects it must complete because of the 2014 breach.

Imperial Metals is beginning staged lay offs at its Mount Polley Mine near Williams Lake that will impact about 78 full-time positions by the end of 2018.

The move comes in order to pay for projects the company has to complete because of the 2014 tailings breach, Mount Polley Mining Corporation general manager Dale Reimer told the Tribune Wednesday.

“We are trying to get cash positive for 2018 because we have some big projects we have to do to keep the mine going,” Reimer said.

Those projects include removing the tailings that were put into the Springer Pit after the mine breach and more restoration work to Hazeltine Creek because of the damage caused by the breach.

“We also have more work to do to lift our tailings dam a bit,” Reimer said. “We have to be cash positive to do those projects for the long-term mine liability.”

“Approximately 16 people will be laid off in the first quarter,” Reimer confirmed.

In the second quarter the company will lay off another 26 people, in the third quarter an additional 16 and in the fourth quarter approximately 10 more, he confirmed.

It is also expected that an additional 39 people who were working under a temporary contract that expires in January 2018 will no longer be working at the mine after next week, Reimer said.

For the most the part, the restoration work is done by the company, except for dredging of the Springer Pit which has be to be done by experts, Reimer explained.

“We don’t have the equipment or the knowledge. It’s very specific work.”

In the last six months of 2018, the mine will be using its stock piles and won’t be doing any additional mining, Reimer noted.

Presently there are 337 people working at the mine.

If the mine can get all the work done that is required it is hoped the number of employees will be back up to that level in the future, Reimer said.

United Steelworkers Union Local 2017 past president Paul French declined comment on the lay-offs because the union is in contract talks with the company.

Read more: Mount Polley shares remediation plans

Just Posted

Blood donations saved Kelowna boy’s life

Cancer survivor Carter Milaney received multiple blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant

Kelowna RCMP apprehend suspect in downtown bank robbery

The suspect faces potential criminal charges after the Bank of Nova Scotia was robbed Monday.

Study to be conducted for B.C. wine centre

The feasibility study will involve stakeholder engagement with wineries throughout B.C.

Kelowna Chamber taps into world market

The chamber has partnered with the World Trade Centre to help local businesses expand

Grab a pizza tomorrow and help some deserving kids

Papa John’s stores in Kelowna and West Kelowna will be participating in the 4th-annual Dreams for Kids Day

Peppa Pig draws a crowd

Okanagan toddlers squirming with excitement over Peppa Pig

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Glass Tiger rocks the Okanagan

Tickets go on sale April 27

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

Unbeaten Sun Devils sweep North Island

Defending champs run record to 6-0, host COMBA tonight

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

Fender bender stalls Kelowna traffic

A two-vehicle accident stalled westbound traffic in Kelowna on Tuesday

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read