The HB mine tailings pond is seen in 2012 after it sprung a leak.

The HB mine tailings pond is seen in 2012 after it sprung a leak.

No movement on HB mine lawsuit

A year after the Regional District of Central Kootenay filed a notice of claim against Teck over the HB mine, very little has happened.

A year after the Regional District of Central Kootenay filed a notice of claim against Teck Resources Ltd. over contamination from a tailings pond near Salmo, there has been no movement in the case — at least none either party will disclose.

“Very little has happened,” said RDCK chief administrator Stuart Horn. “We are in contact with them and discussions around the issue continue but nothing of note has come out of those discussions.”

Teck spokesman Chris Stannell said discussions are ongoing but declined further comment.

The notice of claim, filed in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver on July 28, 2014 said the regional district wants to be reimbursed for ongoing remediation work at the old HB mine site, which it bought for landfill purposes in 1998.

Teck owned the property from 1955 to 1981 and operated the mine until 1978.

The regional district says the contamination consists of lead, zinc, cadmium, and arsenic and that “numerous” tailings releases occurred while the mine operated.

The claim also cited a 2007 incident in which flows from the tailings pond spread to a nearby property. In 2012, heavy rain caused a sinkhole to form on the pond’s earthen dam. The regional district spent over $800,000 stabilizing and reconstructing the dam, which it billed to the province.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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