The provincial government has given its blessing to another potential mine, this time the Brucejack gold project north of Stewart owned by Pretium Resources.
In releasing the decision to grant an environmental assessment certificate, environment minister Mary Polak and mines minister Bill Bennett noted the company will store a portion of its waste tailings underground and won’t need a tailings storage facility and dam.
Other tailings will be deposited into Brucejack Lake.
But the ministers did add waters from the area do flow into the Unuk River.
“This is an important river with fisheries values for British Columbia and Alaska and was the focus of the involvement and comments of US state and federal officials,” they said.
For that reason, the two ministers said there would be conditions on the environmental permit.
“The project will move forward only when, and if, regulators are satisfied proposed discharges will comply with provincial guidelines and therefore will not cause significant adverse effects to the receiving environment and the Unuk River,” they said.
The ministers also said the Nisga’a Lisims Government and adjacent aboriginal groups had been involved in project planning and have approved of the proposal.
They were satisfied that certificate conditions would balance any social and other effects on the Nisga’a, the Tahltan and the Skii km Lax Ha.
As with other existing and proposed projects in that region, Pretium will have to pay into a management program to finance efforts to maintain the moose population.
The mine would draw power by constructing an extension to BC Hydro’s 148kV line which now serves Stewart.
Pretium says it has enough mineable material for a mine lasting 18 years to produce an estimated 7.3 million ounces of gold.
The estimated project cost is approximately (US) $750 million, which Pretium still needs to raise.
Construction is expected to result in 500 jobs with 300 jobs mining jobs afterward.
The project also requires the approval of the federal government.