AME BC Expresses Support to Everyone Affected by Mount Polley Mine Tailings Dam Incident    

August 7, 2014 — Today, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) expressed support to all of the people affected by the Mount Polley mine tailings dam incident. The breach of the tailings dam is a very serious environmental concern to everyone in the surrounding communities, government and First Nations and to the industry.

“We are grateful that there have been no reports of loss of life or injury,” said Gavin C. Dirom, President & CEO of AME BC. “At this stage, we are keenly interested in learning the results of the downstream water quality analyses, silt and sediment samples as well as the preliminary investigation into the causal factors of this very rare incident.” 

"I have every confidence that local communities, industry, First Nations and government will learn from this serious incident and will work diligently to prevent something like it from happening again in the future,” stated David McLelland, Chair of AME BC.   

"This is a highly complex and dynamic situation that will require further responsible action, careful assessment and scientific review. Let’s all keep in mind that no one knows what caused this incident yet. There is a multitude of scenarios to consider, and each one will need careful technical consideration and methodical investigation,” noted Dirom. “It is critically important that we openly share information and make public the science-based findings and facts as they are discovered. While the environmental concerns need to be properly addressed, now is certainly not the time for anyone to speculate recklessly or seek an opportunity to suggest immediate changes to public policy based on misinformation, incomplete data or fears. This is a time for stewardship and strong leadership.”

"Given that everyone uses and benefits from the metals and minerals explored for and produced by the industry, we must all take a certain amount of responsibility and take time to consider constructive and thoughtful input to help make things better in the future,” added McLelland. “This particular incident is not solely a government, First Nation, environmentalist, industry or company centric problem. This is a shared human dilemma that I know we can improve if we work together and consider all the scientific data, causal factors, remediation strategies and options.” 

About AME BC:
AME BC is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia.  Established in 1912, AME BC represents, advocates, protects and promotes the interests of thousands of members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in BC and throughout the world. AME BC encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership.

The large and diverse membership of AME BC established a common set of core values that are expressed in seven sets of guiding principles, including Environmental  Guiding Principles that recognize that for present and future generations environmental stewardship is a fundamental cornerstone of a safe, modern, and sustainable mineral exploration and mining sector.  The principles are available on the AME BC website.


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