Oops! Mount Polley owner may not have any environmental insurance
Does Imperial Metals have environmental insurance?
It is a statement that may come back to haunt them depending upon whether it is still valid. In 2002, in a “Plan of Arrangement” document regarding restructuring the company, Imperial Metals announced it would purchase insurance in amounts “to be adequate to protect itself against certain business and mining risks”. The document went on to say that, nonetheless, the company “may become subject to liability which it cannot insure against or which it may elect not to insure against due to premium costs or other reasons. In particular, [the company] will not [emphasis added] be specifically insured for environmental liability.”
A strange statement for a company that had a huge tailing pond at its Mount Polley mine situated by pristine lakes and world famous salmon spawning waters that are connected in myriad ways to First Nations and other local communities…
…Flash forward to today in the wake of the disastrous tailing pond spill at the Mount Polley mine. Company president, Brian Kynoch has indicated that the company’s insurance costs may not be enough to cover the spill costs (CBC News, 08/14). Other news reports claim that Imperial Metals has only $15 million in property and business interruption insurance coverage and $10 million in third-party liability insurance. There is no mention of environmental liability insurance.
So, does the company have environmental liability insurance today in 2014? It is not clear. One would hope it does, given that the company tailing pond appears to have been pushed to its limits over the last few years. However, according to the company’s 2013 Annual Report, “the Company’s property, business interruption and liability insurance may not provide sufficient coverage for losses related to these or other hazards” and the Company “may elect not to insure against certain hazards where insurance coverage may not continue to be available at economically feasible premiums.”
In any case, for the sake of everyone affected, the company should clarify whether or not it has environmental liability insurance.
READ MORE: http://www.250news.com/blog/view/32937