The Federal Ministry of Environment has a green light for a proposed $ 1.8 billion mining project in central B.C.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announced its approval for the proposed Blackwater Gold Project after a thorough and scientific process of environmental assessment. "
The announcement means an open gold and silver mine can be built and operated about 110km southwest of Vanderhof, BC, a few hours drive from Prince George.
Another investment decision for mine 1.8B
But environmental approval by B.C. is still in progress.
And Blackwater Gold, owned by New Gold, said the investment decision has not yet been made.
Federal approval comes with 172 conditions that the company must meet during construction and mine operations to reduce or eliminate environmental damage.
The conditions, according to the ministry, protect wetland, carbium, fish and fish habitats, migratory birds, the current use of land and resources by indigenous peoples, and physical and cultural heritage and structures.
The mine promises 496 mining and 1,500 construction works
A statement released Tuesday said the project could create up to 1,500 jobs during construction, and another 496 during operations over the 17-year life of the project.
"It's great news for the whole region," said Vanderhoff Mayor Gerry Tissen. He noted that the mine nearby is currently closed and the forest industry is in recession. He said Blackwater's mining jobs would provide good alternative employment. "It certainly diversifies our labor market".
But a northern environmental activist raises concerns about the environmental costs of the mine. .
Issues related to mining waste
"This will be an open mine and there will be a large dam," said Nicky Scouty, with the northern part of Confluence. "And federal approval]seems to be based on the economy more than … some of the social and long-term environmental costs "
"This is a fairly low grade gold deposit with a 17-year life span and there will be large amounts of waste," said Skuche. "You know that we accept some environmental costs and risks."
But Blackwater Gold is standing on its mining project. .
"The project has really gone through a comprehensive one [federal environmental assessment] process and are designed with the best practices in mind, "said Ryan Todd, director of the Blackwater Gold Project.