09/09/2014 06:38 EDT | Updated 11/09/2014 05:59 EST

New Afton Mine In Kamloops, B.C. Sees Small Tailings Pond Spill

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - A broken valve between two tailings ponds at the New Afton gold and copper mine in Kamloops, B.C., has resulted in a spill of about 16 cubic metres of mine slurry.

B.C. Environment Minister spokesman David Karn says the tailings went into a dry ditch and no waterways are involved.

A company spokeswoman says the crushed rock was completely contained on mine property, there was no danger to people or the environment and clean-up has begun.

Karn says the spill is minor compared to the breach released at the Mount Polley mine last month that sent 17 million cubic metres of water and more than seven million cubic metres of slurry into nearby waterways.

A registered letter sent Tuesday to the operators of the Mount Polley mine from the Environment Ministry warns the company that the tailings pond was still discharging effluent into a nearby creek.

The ministry issued a compliance order to the company to take prompt action to shut down all discharge and make sure there's enough capacity in the storage facility to handle a large rainfall event.