Gov't asked to approve northwestern BC mine

THE PROVINCIAL government is being asked to approve of a project to spend more than $900 million developing a molybdenum mine in northwestern B.C.

The provincial environment and mines ministers have 45 days to say 'yes', 'no' or ask for further assessment of Avanti Mining's mining plan at Kitsault on the north coast.

The referral to the two cabinet ministers took place March 1 after more than 16 months of study.

"This is a milestone day for Avanti in the advancement of the Kitsault Mine environmental assessment and permitting requirements," said Avanti president Craig Nelsen. 

"We have been working for over 16 months since we submitted our application with the agencies to get to the point where it can be decided by the ministers. We are confident that we have provided sufficient mitigation and accommodation during the [environmental assessment] process that the project should receive approval at this time."

If approved and pending obtaining all permits and arranging financing, a three-year construction period would be followed by 16 years of production.

Molybdenum has a number of uses, including acting as a strengthening agent for steel.

Kitsault can be reached by road leading north of the Nass Valley.

Approximately 300 people would work at the mine, indicates information presented by Avanti to the province.

The company has also received notice from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that the project would not require listing under Schedule 2 of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations because the tailings facility would not use waters frequented by fish.


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