Environment Minister Mary Polak and Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett have issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate to Seabridge Gold Inc. for the KSM project, located approximately 65 km northwest of Stewart.
The $5.3 billion KSM project is located on the site of one of the largest copper gold deposits in the world and will have an anticipated production of 130,000 tonnes of ore per day for up to 52 years. KSM will create up to 1,800 jobs during construction and approximately 1,040 permanent jobs during mine operations.
The KSM mine is one of many proposed projects in the northwest that will connect to the new $746 million Northwest Transmission Line.
The decision was made after considering a review led by British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office. The environmental assessment for the KSM project was conducted in a manner that is reflective of the treaty relationship between British Columbia and the Nisga’a Lisims Government.
The ministers have issued the certificate with legally-enforceable conditions that have given them the confidence to conclude that the project will be constructed, operated and decommissioned in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at: http://tinyurl.com/ople36d
There are 41 conditions that are part of the Environmental Assessment Certificate. Design restrictions are specified in the Certified Project Description. Each of the conditions and the Certified Project Description are legally-binding requirements that Seabridge Gold must meet to be in compliance with the certificate.
The certificate conditions were developed following consultation and input from Nisga’a Nation, First Nations, government agencies, communities and the public. Key conditions for the project include that Seabridge Gold must:
- have a fully operational selenium treatment plant by year five of operations;
- construct water treatment facilities prior to the mining of any ore;
- make financial contributions to a trust that is being established by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to support moose recovery initiatives in the northwest;
- develop a Wetlands Management Plan that includes compensation and monitoring plans for wetland habitat affected by the project;
- develop a procedure to minimize risks of bear-human conflicts; and
- develop a Wildlife Collisions Protocol to ensure accurate annual monitoring and reporting of collisions and mortality.
Consistent with its compliance and enforcement program, the Environmental Assessment Office will co-ordinate compliance management efforts with other government agencies to ensure that the office is satisfied that certificate conditions are met.
British Columbia’s environmental assessment process involves a rigorous, thorough review that provides for significant opportunities for First Nations, government agencies and the public to provide input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from a proposed project.
Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Energy and Mines