Photographer Garth Lenz has created a new photo essay about mining in British Columbia, Canada. Photographed primarily from the air, the images show the vast extent of development for these mines, largely hidden from public view as the mines are located in hard to reach, mountainous and forested remote areas of B.C. In addition to the mines already operating there are many more in development, creating the possibility of ever more toxic disasters. One wonders what the outcome would be if there were a major earthquake in this region.

This photograph is of the Red Chris tailings dam, 105 meters high and is the same type of construction as the Mount Polley Dam that failed in 2014, causing one of the worst environmental disasters in Canadian history. The Red Chris mine is one of 10 mines in the region of northwestern B.C.’s greatest wild salmon rivers. The Red Chris tailings pond has seven times the capacity of the Mount Polley dam before it collapsed.

We have previously featured artist Garth Lenz’s photographs of the Alberta tar sands, which have been featured in the G2 Gallery in Los Angeles, the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, at the Aperture Foundation Gallery in New York as part of the “What Matters Now” exhibit, in 2012, at the Tippetts Gallery at Utah State University, and at the Galt Museum in Alberta. Industrialization and its impacts on the natural landscape feature in much of Garth Lenz’s work.