Media Releases

Securities Commissions Asked to Investigate Ahead of Jan. 8 Tahoe, Pan American Silver Merger

January 3, 2019 • Earthworks
Guatemala City, Washington DC, Toronto, Tatamagouche, Ottawa – Today, ahead of the January 8th shareholder vote on Pan American Silver’s acquisition of Tahoe Resources, the Justice and Corporate Accountability Project (JCAP) filed letters with the British Columbia Securities Commission and the… More »
EARTHblog

Two Years Later, a Look at Mount Polley

August 3, 2016 • Shreema Mehta

On August 4, 2014, a mine waste dam in British Columbia, Canada breached, releasing 24.4 million cubic meters of mine waste (or tailings) sludge into the Fraser River watershed, a group of lakes and rivers that bear salmon and sustain the livelihoods of local First Nation communities.

Media Releases

New Analysis: Ignoring best practices, four BC/Alaska transboundary mines risk repeating Mount Polley disaster

March 22, 2016 • Earthworks | MiningWatch Canada | Rivers Without Borders

In the midst of deliberations over the British Columbia Mining Code, an international coalition today released, Post-Mount Polley: Tailings Dam Safety in British Columbia, a new analysis revealing that four major BC mine projects in the Alaska/British Columbia transboundary region fail to implement the recommendations of the Mount Polley expert panel, risking similar mine waste containment disasters. The Mount Polley mine disaster, considered the worst mine disaster in Canadian history, occurred in August 2014, releasing over 25 million cubic meters of mine waste into the Fraser River watershed.

EARTHblog

UNEP must act to avoid mine waste disasters

August 31, 2015 • Shreema Mehta

One year ago in August, a mine waste dam failed. The breach sent 24.4 million cubic meters of a liquefied mixture of toxic heavy metals and other chemicals into the Fraser River watershed in British Columbia, Canada. To help prevent further toxic catastrophes, over 3 dozen environmental and social justice groups including Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace sent a letter today to the United Nations Environment Programme urging the agency to call for global review and regulations to address threats posed by similar dams at existing and proposed mines around the world. As the global authority on environmental protection, UNEP can not only bring much-needed attention to this problem, but also develop international guidelines and assist countries to respond to this growing threat.

We can't do this without you!

Donate now!

Donate Now

Publications

Changes needed to mine waste management following Mount Polley tailings site failure

July 20, 2015 • Earthworks, et al
EARTHblog

Xeni Gwet’in Mining Activist Wins Goldman Environmental Prize

April 20, 2015 • Payal Sampat

We are thrilled to join the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's largest prize for grassroots environmental activism, in honoring Xeni Gwet’in leader Marilyn Baptiste of British Columbia, Canada for her work to stop Taseko Mines' proposed Prosperity gold and copper mine.

We are thrilled to join the Goldman Environmental Prize, the world's largest award for grassroots environmental activism, in honoring Xeni Gwet’in leader Marilyn Baptiste of British Columbia, Canada for her work to stop Taseko Mines' proposed Prosperity gold and copper mine.

Publications

EPA Letter – Mt. Polley Tailings Dam Failure

March 19, 2015 • Earthworks et al
Media Releases

Hundreds of mines around world at risk of catastrophic waste dam failure

February 4, 2015 • Earthworks

Washington, D.C., Dillingham, AK -- In response to the findings of an investigation of the Mount Polley tailings dam failure in British Columbia, Canada, a coalition of environmental and community groups today called upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) to investigate threats posed by similar mine waste dams in the U.S. and around the world, and to reassess existing mine proposals.

Media Releases

Seabridge Gold’s KSM Mine Proposal Poses Significant Risks

November 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC—A report released today identifies significant risks associated with the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine proposed by Seabridge Gold in northwest British Columbia near the border with Alaska and upstream of Misty Fjords National Monument. It details a growing list of operational, legal, economic and political challenges facing the controversial project, which some analysts have compared to the proposed Pebble Mine in southwest Alaska.

EARTHblog

Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine Tailings Dam Failure: A First-Hand Look

October 22, 2014 • Bonnie Gestring

On the two month anniversary of the Imperial Metals Mount Polley Mine tailings dam failure, I travelled with colleagues from Bristol Bay, Alaska to see the area first-hand. At the hospitality of the Northern Shuswap Fisheries Department, we travelled by boat across Quesnel Lake to see the mouth of Hazeltine Creek where the tailings spill emptied into the lake. Despite two months of cleanup, the mouth is still choked with massive trees that were carried downstream by the powerful force of the tailings breach, which transformed a small salmon stream into a broad corridor piled with mine waste.

EARTHblog

BC Mount Polley Mine Failure Highlights Pebble Mine Risks

August 6, 2014 • Bonnie Gestring

This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia released vast amounts of mine waste into streams, rivers and lakes in the headwaters of the Fraser River watershed.  It will be some time before we know the full consequences of this mine failure, but it’s impossible not to draw comparisons with the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. Both mines are large, open pit, copper porphyry mines at the headwaters of important salmon streams.

Ironically, the Pebble Limited Partnership (PLP), the company behind the proposed Pebble Mine, has repeatedly pointed to the Fraser River as a watershed where mining and fish can coexist. Check out this video

Even more so, Knight Piesold, the firm that provided designs for the tailings pond lifts at Mount Polley, also provided the designs for the tailings pond for the proposed Pebble Mine that PLP submitted to Alaska regulators.

Media Releases

BC Mine Failure Highlights Pebble Mine Risks

August 5, 2014 • Earthworks

This week’s devastating tailings dam failure at the Mount Polley copper mine in British Columbia, which released vast amounts of mine waste into streams, rivers and lakes, raised alarms with Alaska Native communities and conservation groups concerned about the proposed Pebble Mine. The groups are urging the EPA to finalize proposed mine waste restrictions in Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed.

Publications

Joint letter to Canadian officials urging withdrawal of government support of Rosia Montana

December 5, 2013 • Earthworks et. al.

Letter to Canadian Foreign Minister and select members of Parliament urging withdrawal of government support of Gabriel Resources’ efforts to develop the Rosia Montana mining proposal in Romania

Media Releases

Groups urge Canadian officials to withdraw government support of Rosia Montana mining proposal

December 5, 2013 • Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, etal

(Ottawa) December 5, 2013. MiningWatch, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Council of Canadians and Earthworks join the call of Romanian and Canadian protesters to request the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Members of Parliament for:

Introduction of legislation to make Canadian corporations, particularly extractive industry corporations, accountable for proposed projects and actual operations abroad and
Withdrawal of Canadian Government support for Gabriel Resources' mining project in Romania at Rosia Montana.

EARTHblog

When government fails, people near fracking are left with few choices

October 18, 2013 • Sharon Wilson

When fracking happens there are documented impacts to people and the environment:.

  • Federal government has both failed to respond and has actively walked away from these impacts.
  • State regulators are guilty of malfeasance.
  • Documentation of harm is denied and kept secret.

This pattern repeats itself all across the United States and the globe.