VICTORIA – Terrane Metals Corp. (the proponent) has received an environmental assessment (EA) certificate for its Mount Milligan copper-gold mine project.
Environment Minister Barry Penner and Energy, and Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom made the decision to grant the EA certificate after considering the review led by B.C.?s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).
The proposed project, an open-pit copper-gold mine with a capacity to process 60,000 tonnes of ore per day, will be located 90 kilometres north of Fort St. James and 90 kilometres west of Mackenzie. The ore concentrate will be transported by rail to either Vancouver or PrinceRupert for shipping to overseas smelters.
The EAO Assessment Report concluded the project is not likely to have significant adverse effects, based on the mitigation measures and commitments included as conditions of the EA certificate.
The provincial EA certificate contains 97 commitments the proponent must implement throughout various stages of the project. Key commitments address the following:
* Potentially acid-generating materials will be stored under water in the tailings storage facility or open pit to prevent acid rock drainage and metal leaching.
* Monitoring of water management, tailings storage and other facilities to ensure there is no discharge of surface water from the mine site to adjacent streams during operations.
* Implementing water and waste management plans to ensure protection of fisheries values and implementing a wildlife management plan to minimize effects on wildlife.
* Establishing an environmental management system consistent with the ISO 14001 standard.
The proposed project is also reviewable under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act because authorizations are required from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and from Natural Resources Canada. Decisions from these two federal agencies are pending.
First Nations were consulted on the assessment and the Province is satisfied the Crown?s duties to consult and accommodate First Nations interests have been discharged.
Capital costs are estimated at $917 million and the 30-month construction phase will provide an average of 370 jobs. Of the estimated $156 million annual operating costs, almost $100 million will be spent in the regional economy and the project is expected to generate approximately 400 full-time jobs annually over the 15-year lifespan of the mine. Once the project is in operation, annual revenue to local governments is estimated at $1.3 million and total provincial revenue over the proposed project life is estimated at $200 million.
Before the project can proceed, the proponent will still need to obtain
the necessary provincial licences, leases and other approvals.
More information on the environmental assessment certificate can be found at www.eao.gov.bc.ca.