“Our first priority is protecting Howe Sound by intercepting and treating the water from the old Britannia Mine site before releasing it back to the environment – that’s job #1,” Chris said. “For our team, the fun comes when we’re asked to help the Britannia Mine Museum share that story and what we do every day.”
Britannia Mine’s legacy dates back more than 100 years. First opened in 1904 and operating until 1974, the mine was once one of the largest copper producers in the British Commonwealth and the largest in Canada. That success came with a cost to the surrounding environment, Howe Sound in particular.
“A by-product of copper mining is acid rock drainage. Mining technology and the industry are significantly more advanced and environmentally conscious now, but that wasn’t the case when Britannia opened,” explained Vicki Campbell, Senior Manager of Capital, Growth and Operations. “For the better part of a century, water leaving the mine was damaging Howe Sound. It reached a point where aquatic life – whales, dolphins, fish – was essentially gone. EPCOR’s water treatment work has restored the Sound.”