An innovative water treatment facility is cleaning up one of North America's largest sources of heavy metal pollution. For more than 70 years, the Britannia Mine has been an ecological concern. Every day, hundreds of kilograms of heavy metals entered British Columbia's Howe Sound through contaminated acid rock drainage that came from the now abandoned copper mine.
In March 2005, along with our partners, we signed an agreement with the B.C. Government to clean up the mine water. Eight months later, the Britannia Water Treatment facility was up and running. The facility treats an average of 4.2 billion litres annually, removing an average of 226,000 kg of heavy metal contaminants. The amount of copper removed yearly is the equivalent of preventing 30 million copper pennies from entering Howe Sound.
We have a 20-year guaranteed performance contract with the province to operate and maintain the mine and water treatment facilities.