Today's Local News: What happens when a mine has a catastrophic failure into a large river?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jeremy Floyd, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    the full conclusion?? any company that cannot conduct their business without spilling toxic chemicals into our rivers needs to go the way of the do do bird.. they are criminally negligent.. it is criminally negligent to allow all those nasty poisons to accumulate like that period end of story.... this is proof that it cannot be done safely, just like drilling oil
     
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  2. smc

    smc Active Member

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    It's not good,
    Hmmm. Sounds a lot like the same argument that is used to justify Victoria dumping, oh, excuse me, "diffusing" its raw sewage into the Juan de Fuca.
     
  3. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    They usually do :-(
     
  4. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Come now, why don't you just believe that it's happening? Why do you need proof? Apply the same argument to other environmental issues, heck - religion while you're at it.

    Poisons in rivers kill fish. Pretty simple.

     
  5. Dennis Thomas

    Dennis Thomas Active Member

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    Years ago the TP&W did some research and found that the population of redfish along the Texas gulf coast was steadily declining. This led to further research and eventually they linked the decline to the constant dumping of toxic bi-products into the bays and estuaries by the petroleum companies (refineries). Through the work of the state fish and game and the state GCCA, new legislation to stop this dumping, the redfish population turned from its downward spiral and started to once again move back towards the mean population. It didn't take mass fish kills to awaken to a need to stop the made-made effects that was harming these fish. Science has proven time and again that most of these toxins create long-term insidious negative effects that might not be obvious to the naked eye.
     
  6. Red Arch

    Red Arch Active Member

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    Because the preliminary results of the water quality test show the contaminants in the water are within safe drinking water parameters.
     
  7. psycho

    psycho Active Member

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    They haven't tested all that muck yet. Nore have they looked at the sediment load on the gravels in that area used by shore spawning Sockeye. Where is DFO and their crew to charge the mine with putting all that sediment in Salmon bearing waters? That is a federal offense. This nonsense about it not being safe is a cop out of the first order. Five gallon bucket hung on a long line from a helicopter and you have your sample. Both governments are dragging their feet as much as possible. Both asshole governments took campaign money from that mine so it is really difficult to kick the mine in the gonads. I will wait for the private samples before I get excited about the readings from the government boys.
     
  8. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I would not lend much weight to the testing then. If what Mr. Floyd cites is correct and...

    in FY 2013 "18,413 tonnes" of Copper and its compounds

    ...were dumped into waste lake then we have a problem. Copper in a solution is toxic to aquatic life in parts per billion quantities.

    Specifically...

    Many species of freshwater plants and animals die within 96 hours at waterborne
    concentrations of 5.0 to 9.8 ppb and sensitive species of mollusks, crustaceans
    and fish die at 0.23 to 0.91 ppb within 96 hr (Eisler 2000)

    (I pulled this citation from this literature review http://www.renewableresourcescoalit...scoalition.org/files/Woody_Copper_Effects.pdf)

    A ppb is a microgram per liter. Care to do the math and figure out how many gallons of water 18,000 tones of Cu can make toxic?

    That assumes there was nothing else beyond the material deposited in 2013. And since this is likely fine sediments the metals will emerge anew with every high water event for years to come.

    This is why mines should be forced to pay ip front for proper storage and mitigation of mine wastes. If it makes the mine uneconomical, then screw 'em.
     
  9. Red Arch

    Red Arch Active Member

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    In solution means the ions are not bound in soil particles/rock fragments, but are instead in the water itself (think a saline solution=salt in water)

    In this case the ions are not in solution and bound into particles. That issue will arise if there is hydrolysis whre the H+ ion replaces a copper ion.
     
  10. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Depends on how the material is processed on site. I would assume (since from air photos it appears to be a placer mine) that there is a fair amount of "dirt" in the tailings lake. However, I could not tell exactly how the material was processed on site. In any event, Cu in rocks (particularly in fine material as the mine materials appear to be) readily dissolves in water. I would also guess some portion of the processing procedure involves reducing the source material to a powder and then some form of chemical extraction. I did not see a typical leach pit, but I would assume cyanide is being used to pull the gold into solution. Maybe that is offsite somewhere.

    In any event (like I said) I would assume the pulverized material readily yields a metal heavy solution when water passes through it.

    The same thing happened in the silver valley ID, and a number of other places where particulate materials from hard rock and placer deposits was left exposed to the atmosphere.
     
  11. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Will you drink it?
     
  12. Jmills81

    Jmills81 The Dude Abides

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    Red Arch...you wouldnt happen to be a miner by trade, would you?
     
  13. Red Arch

    Red Arch Active Member

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    No. I happen to be a student in environmental sciences who is taking what he has learned and applying it to this instance. The biggest one being not coming to conclusions before you have all the facts.

    Actually that might just be common sense.
     
  14. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    At a mining school? Common sense would dictate that you're being misled in your education about "environmental sciences." Unless of course it's a mining school. Are they teaching you adaptive management theory and practices yet? Because now there's a great reason in your backyard.

     
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  15. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    The only thing I cited as a fact, was the mines own disclosure in their annual report. That was taken directly from one of the links, I think the CBC News one.

    Being concerned and trying to prevent this sort of thing from happening again isn't jumping to conclusions.

    It is very simply proactive thinking.

    Being concerned about anything entering any watershed other than rain or snow melt isn't jumping to conclusions either.

    Being as protective of the public resource as I can is a responsibility I share with everyone. People are most certainly free to choose different levels of involvement.