Imperial Metals granted temporary injunction to remove mine blockade

VANCOUVER – A British Columbia mine company behind a tailings pond spill has been granted a temporary court injunction against a First Nation blocking access to a separate project.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge granted Imperial Metals the temporary injunction on Wednesday, though the enforcement order doesn’t take effect at the nearly-completed Red Chris gold and copper mine until Oct. 14.

A group of Tahltan elders known as the Klabona Keepers established a blockade of the mine in August after the tailings dam at Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley mine in central B.C. failed.

The blockade was lifted when the company and the Tahltan Central Council signed an agreement that saw an independent engineering firm review the tailings facility at the Red Chris mine, but blockaders returned on Sept. 29.

Imperial Metals had applied for a more permanent injunction and an enforcement order, saying blockaders were preventing people or supplies from accessing the site.

The Klabona Keepers says in a statement that it considers the temporary injunction and the delayed enforcement order a victory.