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Mining and Human Rights in BC: Mt Polley disaster

    The Mt Polley gold and copper mine is owned by Canadian company Imperial Metals and located near the community of Likely, British Columbia. On August 4th, 2014, the mine's tailings dam breached, spilling 24 million cubic metres of toxic slurry into tlocal waterways and ultimately into the pristine Quesnel Lake. The full extent of impacts and damages caused by this major breach are still being assessed more than two years later.

    Amnesty International travelled to Likely, BC in 2015 and 2016 to research the human rights impact of the breach. We met with First Nations, local residents and businesses, government officials, scientists, and the union that represents the mine's workers. Neither Imperial Metals or Mount Polley Mining Corporation have responded to our requests for a meeting.




    Take Action

    Sign the petition! SumOfUs has launched a petition calling on the Prime Minister to hold Imperial Metals to account for the Mt Polley disaster.


    Call for Public Inquiry Launched: Today, the University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre and Fair Mining Collaborative launched a formal request for the province to establish a Judicial Commission of Public Inquiry into BC’s mining regulations. The Centre's report, Fixing Systemic Failures in BC's Mining Regulation: the Urgent Need for A Judicial Inquiry, outlines the dysfunction of BC's mining regulatory system and need for reform. 


    Announcement: Province announces changes to BC's mining regulations and oversight: Read the government press release and an article by Vancouver Sun reporter Gordon Hoestra.

    Blog: A Water Defender working to protect the lake she loves shares her thoughts on Quesnel Lake in the winter

    News release: Private prosecution filed against BC Government and Mt Polley: press release

    Amnesty op-ed in the Tyee: Where's the Will to Protect British Columbians' Rights After Resource Disasters? 


    Second anniversary of Mt Polley spill: Canadians Remember

    First anniversary of Mt Polley spill: One year anniversary of Mt Polley

    2015 Research Mission

    July 23 Blog posting : Day 4 - Amnesty on the ground

    July 21 Blog posting : Day 1 - Amnesty on the ground 

    Recommended reading about the Mt Polley disaster and BC's mining sector:


    Indigenous organizations:

    Non-governmental organizations: 


    • Imperial Metals Mount Polley webpage