January 26, 2004

BC seeks firms interested in treating Britannia mine drainage

VICTORIA, BC-The British Columbia government has issued a request for expressions of interest (EOI) relating to the cleanup of contaminated discharge from the Britannia mine site using an acid water treatment plant. The purpose of the request is to seek out firms interested in providing effective, innovative proposals to design, build, finance and operate the facility. The former mine site, situated near Squamish, has been a leading source of acid mine water pollution since its closure in the mid-1970s, releasing an average of 629 kg per day of heavy metals into Howe Sound. It is one of the largest sources of acid rock drainage to a marine environment in North America. EOIs will be evaluated on the basis of qualifications, experience, use of demonstrated, innovative technology, and financial capacity. "We will be looking for vision and innovation to address the contaminated water flowing into Howe Sound will providing a solution that maximizes value and minimizes costs," said Sustainable Resource Management Minister Stan Hagen, noting that "additional remediation work is already under way, including moving contaminated soils, capturing and redirecting surface runoff and contaminated groundwater." The government expects to issue a formal request for proposals in April; the successful proponent will have to meet all environmental regulatory requirements. Design and construction of the plant would begin this fall, with operation starting in the fall of 2005. The procurement process is being administered by Partnerships BC. More information, including the EOI request, may be found on-line at www.partnershipsbc.ca or www.britanniamine.ca.
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