Safety around mine sites

Ray Proulx

 

One of the many reasons people choose to live in Tumbler Ridge is the ability to enjoy an abundance of outdoor areas at our community’s doorstep.  For some, this means strapping on a helmet and climbing onto their quad or side by side to explore areas that most have never experienced.

Dormant mine properties, such as our Bullmoose and Quintette sites, often draw the attention of more curious and adventurous riders.  However, we are asking members of the public to avoid accessing these areas or breaching the access gates on these properties for a variety of reasons, the most important being safety.

The presence of highwalls, pit lakes, water management and reclamation features all present significant hazards to riders.  Even if you were familiar with a particular site at one time, geologic movement may have taken place that has changed ground conditions significantly.  In addition to safety-related concerns, unrestricted motorized traffic causes significant damage to areas that are under active reclamation, thereby hindering the progress required to fulfill our environmental obligations and return the land back a state similar to before mining occurred.

Unfortunately, despite the use of physical barricades and warning signs, we have recently experienced a series of incidents involving trespassers using ATVs to access both the Bullmoose and Quintette mine sites.  These incidents have resulted in damage to Teck infrastructure and equipment and have negatively impacted local wildlife and required RCMP involvement.

Teck recognizes that these individuals represent a small minority of the motorized recreationalists in our community, so we are asking all riders to help us generate a greater level of awareness about the safety risks and other issues associated with unauthorized mine site access.

To provide your feedback and suggestions on how best to get the word out about this important issue, please contact Ray Proulx, Senior Coordinator of Community and Aboriginal Affairs, at (250) 242-6335, or stop by the storefront office in downtown Tumbler Ridge.