B.C. tailings pond spill being studied from space

High resolution satellite photo zoom of Mount Polley tailings breach. (CNW Group/PhotoSat...

High resolution satellite photo zoom of Mount Polley tailings breach. (CNW Group/PhotoSat Information Ltd)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

The massive breach in a copper and gold mine's tailings pond in B.C. that flooded a river with five million cubic metres of what an official called "slurry" is being studied from space.

Vancouver-based PhotoSat said Friday it's in the process of calculating the exact amount of tailings that left the Mount Polley tailings dam using "high resolution stereo satellite photos."

"We are uniquely positioned to address the challenge of accurately calculating the amount of material that has left the Mount Polley tailings dam," PhotoSat president Gerry Mitchell said in a statement.

"Using our 20 cm accuracy satellite topography, we can calculate changes in the tailings areas within a few days of the satellite image collection. This will help mine managers and engineers more clearly understand the extent of the breach during the investigation, repair, and remediation."

PhotoSat produces satellite topography for monitoring of tailings disposal and storage areas, mine pits, and waste dumps for all of the Alberta oilsands mines.


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