Despite the recent closure of the water treatment plant at the Tulsequah Chief mine site, Chieftain Metals president and CEO Victor Wyprysky remains confident the project is viable.
He says his company remains committed to the full development of the mine site near Atlin, B.C. The water treatment plant was installed last year to address problems of acid runoff from the historic mine.
“(We) didn’t cause this situation,” Wyprysky said.
But the company has spent approximately $8 to $9 million dollars to operate the water treatment plant, he said.
The plant became operational in January and operations were scaled down over the past several weeks.
On June 22, the plant was closed.
Wyprysky said some “minor work” is being done at the site to see how to make the plant more feasible.
Over the past several months Chieftain Metals realized the treatment plant was costing much more than originally forecasted.
Wyprysky acknowledged the financial challenges but stressed the mine project’s importance. He said there is the “real possibility” of the company bringing in a major partner, but did not provide any further information.
Closing the treatment plant violates the company’s Environmental Management Act permit.
It reported the reasons for the plant’s closure to the B.C. Ministry of the Environment but has not yet told the province how, or when, it will get it running again.
Wyprysky could not say when that process will be complete, but said his company is working to finish it up and bring everything together.