Directives, Alerts & Incident Information
The Chief Inspector publishes directives, alerts, and information letters to communicate potentially hazardous issues related to mining activity in the province.
Mount Polley Tailings Dam Breach
On August 4, 2014, a breach occurred at the tailings storage facility (TSF) at the Mount Polley mine in south-central B.C., near the town of Likely. Shortly afterwards, three separate investigations into this incident were launched: An independent expert engineering panel was established to determine the root cause of the breach, and the Chief Inspector of Mines and British Columbia Conservation Officer Service are also conducting investigations.
The Chief Inspector of Mines has completed his investigation into the tailings storage facility breach and presented the findings on December 17, 2015.
Also in response to the Mount Polley breach, on August 18, 2014, the Chief Inspector of Mines ordered mining companies to complete and submit a Dam Safety Inspection for every TSF at a permitted mine at an accelerated deadline of December 1, 2014.
The Sullivan Incident
The Chief Inspector of Mines concluded that the tragic circumstances that led to four fatalities at a water sampling shed at the decommissioned Sullivan mine on May 15-17, 2006 were unprecedented and that the incident was caused by an oxygen-deficient atmosphere.