Environment Minister Mary Polak has determined that the Tulsequah Chief Mine project has been substantially started. As a result, the environmental assessment certificate will remain in effect for the life of the project and Chieftain Metals Inc. can continue building the mine.
The decision needed to be made because of a requirement that approved projects must be substantially started within the time limit set out in the certificate or the certificate will expire. Documentation related to the minister’s decision can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/mbumdy3
Substantially started decisions are considered on a case by case basis. In making her decision, the minister focused on the physical activities that had taken place at the project site and considered whether:
- A significant investment of time, effort and resources had been made to develop one or more elements of the project.
- The activities represented a significant or important step in developing the project.
- The company would have undertaken the activities regardless of the project.
As part of the decision-making process, the minister considered information submitted by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, since the mine is located in their traditional territory.
The project is an underground copper-lead, silver and gold mine located in northwest British Columbia, 120 km southwest of Atlin and 64 km northeast of Juneau, Alaska.
There are 125 commitments that are part of the project approval certificate. The commitments are legally-binding requirements that Chieftain Metals Inc. must meet to be in compliance with the certificate. 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.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Environment