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Thursday, Jul 25, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.


Panic ensues at Victoria Gold’s Eagle mine after heap leach pad failure, landslide

Rapid action needs to be taken to stop another slide and spill, an expert just said

Panic ensues at Victoria Gold's Eagle mine after heap leach failure and landslide
Yukon. Photo credit: Victoria Gold

Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX: VGCX) must take swift action to prevent a second landslide and spill following an accident earlier this week, an expert said on Wednesday.

The Eagle gold mine’s operator had a very unfortunate heap leach pad failure incident on Monday resulting in a landslide. Activities at the major open-pit operation are suspended until the issue has been resolved.

No injuries resulted from the occurrence. The gold producer’s stock plummeted following the news.

To put it simply, the heap leach pad is an area where gold is extracted from ore through a chemical process.

Panic ensues at Victoria Gold's Eagle mine after heap leach failure and landslide

Aerial shot showing landslide (from upper left down through centre). Photo credit: Blair McBride, Northern Miner

Read more: U.S. Gold gets nod from Wyoming Environmetal regulators for reclamation bond

Read more: U.S. Gold acquires another crucial permit on path to production at CK mine

Cyanide leaching into rivers: worst case scenario

Dave Petley, author of The Landslide Blog, told the Northern Miner that there are a series of concerns now. “This needs rapid action to secure the site, in particular ahead of any rainfall,” he said.

These concerns include pollution resulting from the release of sediment or fluids that make it out of the mine’s vicinity, expansion of the landslide area and even greater failure of the heap leach pad. Many are very concerned about cyanide contamination in the local water supply.

“From what I’m hearing ‘catastrophic’ would probably be a good way to describe it,” Trevor Ellis, Mayor of the nearby village of Mayo, told the CBC. He is happy nobody was hurt and hopes that environmental damage can be minimized.

Meanwhile, Yukon’s NDP leader Kate White described the incident as being appalling and deeply concerning.

“What’s clear at this point is that the failure involved a slide of the ore stacked in the heap leach facility,” Yukon’s energy and mines minister John Streicker described on Wednesday.

He says the slide caused ore to spill over the embankment at the heap facility’s base and that it appears to have damaged some of the mine’s critical infrastructure.

Victoria Gold will likely face charges for the unfortunate occurrence and its environmental impact.


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