Britannia Mine is one of the largest metal pollution sources in North America – having significant impact on local waterways like Howe Sound and the Squamish River.
Over the years, mining caused metal sulphide ores that naturally occur at the site to be exposed to air and rain. This produced acid mine drainage (also known as acid rock drainage) – an acidic, metal-contaminated water.
The drainage of this contaminated water along with other mining activities (e.g. waste rock disposal, concentrate spills, disposal of tailings) polluted local waterways, soil, sediment and groundwater.
- Figure 1 – What is Acid Mine Drainage?
- Figure 2 – Britannia Mine Pre-Mining Conditions
- Figure 3 – Britannia Mine Post-Mining Conditions
- Figure 4 – Britannia Mine Necessary Pollution Prevention Measures
The Britannia Mine site is being remediated by the provincial government with Golder Associates contracted as the project manager.
Remediation efforts are on the site’s water treatment plant for treating the acid mine drainage to remove metals before discharging into the environment. The core remediation project phases are:
- Conduct initial investigations
- Develop an overall remediation plan
- Implement remedial activities
- Final design and construction of the Britannia Mine water treatment plant.
- Risk Assessment for the Furry Creek and Britannia Creek watersheds.