The Mount Washington Mine Remediation program has begun again for the season. Signs have been placed at all road and trail accesses to the site reminding everyone that this is an Active Mine Work Area and is off limits to visitors.
For their safety, all road and trail users keep well away from the Active Mine Work Area until such time as the project has been completed. The contractors working at the site have the authority to charge violators under the Mines Act. Should anyone be found trespassing on the site, they will be prosecuted.
Work this year will see the project mostly completed. The remainder of the till cover will be spread over the geomembrane to fully protect it from the elements and then organic soils will be placed on that to provide a growing medium so the site can be revegetated. Planting and seeding will take place this year so all that will remain to do over the next few years is maintain the plantings, add as required and monitor the water quality results.
The copper mine at Mount Washington was abandoned nearly 40 years ago and leaching from the site contaminated and severely impacted most aquatic species in the Tsolum River including pink salmon in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Restoration work has been ongoing to reduce the amount of leachate runoff into the Tsolum River.
Preliminary results are very encouraging with all concentrations measured since the cover was completed to the outcome target of under 11 parts per billion! This is great news and is indicating so far a successful outcome.
Submitted by the Tsolum River Restoration Society
For more information and progress updates visit the Tsolum River Restoration Society web site at www.tsolumriver.org.