Groundbreaking marks construction start for Britannia Mine water treatment plant
BRITANNIA BEACH, BC-A groundbreaking ceremony last week marked the official start of work on a new water treatment plant at the old Britannia Mine site. The project is a partnership between the BC government and Epcor, whose representatives, Sustainable Resources Minister George Abbott and Epcor president Dr Steve Stanley, led the groundbreaking. Rainwater and runoff entering the old mine becomes contaminated as it passes through remaining mineral deposits. The resulting contamination, known as acid rock drainage, exits the old mine and flows untreated into Howe Sound. "This facility will receive the expertise and reliability that Epcor has developed over our 100-year history," said Dr Stanley. "Working in partnership with the BC government, we're confident that this facility will enhance the marine ecosystem of Howe Sound, and help preserve the natural environment for future generations." Epcor's project will divert the mine's acid rock drainage to a treatment facility, where heavy metals will be removed from the water. The company is being assisted in the design and construction phase of the project by Lockerbie Stanley, Stantec Consulting and BioteQ Environmental Technologies. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2005. Epcor is financing the design and construction and will operate the water treatment plant for 20 years, with the provincial government contributing an annual operating fee.