Mount Polley Mining Corporation was future ready when the federal government published new regulations amending the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) earlier this week.
The federal regulations, now known as the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER) were amended in 2018 and contain several tough new provisions that came into effect on June 1st, 2021.
For several years Mount Polley has proactively been monitoring its treated water discharge for the substances which are controlled in the new regulations and has also been testing for toxicity as is now required by the MDMER.
Toxicity testing using the water flea “Daphnia magna” has demonstrated that Mount Polley’s treated water discharge has been consistently non-toxic to this crustacean.
Daphnia magna, a commonly occurring organism in British Columbia and one that is a food source for certain fish, is particularly sensitive to dissolved copper. Dissolved copper is the “bioavailable” form of copper and Mount Polley is pleased that its water management strategy has successfully mitigated these effects.