06/30/2015 09:09 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 01:12 EDT

Decision on Mount Polley mine reopening is imminent, says B.C. mines minister

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. - British Columbia's energy minister says a gold and copper mine that shut down last year after its tailings pond collapsed could be back up and running in a matter of days.Bill Bennett says that a decision on reopening Mount Polley mine in central B.C. would be released by the end of the month or early July.He says he wants to see the mine operating again as soon as possible for nearby communities who depend on it for employment.The local representative for the United Steelworkers Union says a decision can't come soon enough so nearby residents can get back to work.Disaster struck Mount Polley last August when the mine's tailings pond collapsed, which sent 24-million cubic metres of silt and water into nearby streams and lakes.Mine operator Imperial Metals Corp. (TSX:III) filed an application in March to restart operations. (250 News)