Proposed gold and copper mine moves forward

The BC Environmental Assessment Office accepts Seabridge Gold Inc.'s application for formal detailed review

The exploration company proposing a substantial gold and copper mine near Stewart is one step closer to its goal, with the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) accepting its application for formal detailed review.

Toronto-based mining company Seabridge Gold Inc. owns the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) property west and to the south of Bob Quinn, 65 km from Stewart. The company has been gathering environment and technical information for years, and earlier in 2013 began the formal process in order to receive an environmental assessment certificate for the project.

The application has now passed the screening stage, and is moving into the second phase of the three-stage regulatory process, which is expected to take six months to complete.

“The acceptance of our filing into the detailed review stage represents a significant step forward,” said Seabridge chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk in a release sent out earlier this week. “Our submissions to the federal and provincial regulators are unusually large and detailed.”

The joint harmonized environmental assessment review process involves both the provincial EAO and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

The KSM project has been marketed as one of the largest gold deposits in Canada and one of the largest copper properties in the world. The company anticipates that the four mineral deposits discovered at the site contain close to 48 million ounces of gold and 10 billion pounds of copper, to be extracted at a rate of 130,000 tonnes per day over the projected 50-year lifespan of the mine. Its plan calls to use power from the Northwest Transmission Line.

Over the last five years and throughout the application’s screening phase, Seabridge has worked with representatives from the Nisga’a, Tahltan, Gitxsan, and Gitanyow First Nations, and government officials.

The company recently donated $100,000 to Northwest Community College for the purchase of a large mobile training trailer which was unveiled at the Minerals North 2013 conference held here in Terrace. The trailer will allow people in more remote communities to learn skills, part of the college’s plan to offer short courses to train people in several industries, including mining.