Blaming low copper prices, Imperial Metals suspends operations at Mount Polley mine

By James Peters
January 7, 2019 - 3:03pm Updated: January 7, 2019 - 5:25pm

LIKELY, B.C. — Imperial Metals has announced the suspension of operations at the Mount Polley mine near Likely.

In a news release, the company says the shutdown is due to declining copper prices, and says the operation will resume "once the economics of mining at Mount Polley improve."

The news is the latest in a series of blows for the mine.

A tailings dam failure in 2014 led to 24 million cubic metres of waste being released into nearby waterways, the worst mining-related environmental disaster in Canadian history.

Labour strife shook up the operation in 2018, as hundreds of United Steelworkers Local 1-2017 members walked off the job for weeks.

An August, 2018 article in online magazine The Narwhal reported that the Mount Polley and Red Chris mines were both on the brink of bankruptcy.

Imperial shares have been trading at well under $2 per share in recent months.

The company says the shutdown won't impact ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation.

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