Bloom Lake Hit By Record Penalty for Environmental Breaches

Bloom Lake Hit By Record Penalty for Environmental Breaches

Bloom Lake Partners has been hit with a record $7.5 million in fines relating to environmental infractions at the Bloom Lake mine, including tailings pond dam releases.

The group, of which Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE: CLF) is a majority shareholder, pleaded guilty to 45 charges under the Fisheries Act on December 19. Out of the fines, $6.83 million will go to the Environmental Damages Fund — a fund set up to ensure companies and individuals that cause environmental damage or harm to wildlife face fines for their actions.

Cliffs acquired a controlling stake in Bloom Lake Partners back in May 2011 when it purchased Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines for US$4.9 billion.

According to a statement put out by Environment Canada, the government body started investigating the project in September 2011 after reports that recommendations following an earlier inspection hadn't been followed. The investigation grew to cover a four-year span, including major incidents such as the breach of the Triangle tailings pond dam and a separate release of 14,500 liters of ferric sulfate into a water body.

The breach at the Triangle tailings pond dam allowed more than 200,000 cubic meters of harmful materials into fish-bearing waters, as per Environment Canada.

The news rounds out a fall and winter of misery for Cliffs and Bloom Lake. The company earlier announced plans to shutter the mine and took a $6-billion writedown largely because of the project's failing.

 

Securities Disclosure: I, Nick Wells, hold no direct or indirect investment in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

Bloom Lake Hit By Record Penalty for Environmental Breaches from Iron Investing News

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