August 26, 2014 / 5:34 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Imperial Metals says new Canada mine on track for start-up

(Adds details on agreement with aboriginal group, background)

Aug 26 (Reuters) - Imperial Metals Corp, the company behind this month’s major spill of mine waste in Western Canada, said it plans to start up operations at its new Red Chris copper and gold mine once a power line is completed in September.

Imperial said in a statement that it is targeting to begin commissioning operations at the Red Chris mine in British Columbia once the Iskut extension power line is finished, as previously communicated.

There have been concerns in the market that Imperial could be forced to delay the start-up of Red Chris as it deals with the clean-up of the spill at its Mount Polley mine, which is also in British Columbia.

The bursting of the tailings dam at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine sent billions of gallons of gray sludge containing metals and minerals into waterways in the province’s interior region. The clean-up is expected to cost between C$50 million (45.65 million U.S. dollars) and C$500 million.

Imperial also said it has entered into an agreement with the Tahltan First Nation, the focus of which is a review of Red Chris’s tailings dam to make sure that its design, engineering, construction and operation are to world-class standards.

The review will be conducted by an independent engineering firm selected by the aboriginal group and is expected to be completed by Sept. 24, Imperial said.

1 US dollar = 1.0952 Canadian dollar Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler

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