Pacific Booker Minerals will have to wait for the environmental assessment on its Morrison Mine project after it was suspended by environment minister Mary Polak last Monday.
Polak suspended the copper and gold mine’s environmental assessment until the outcome of the independent expert engineering investigation and review panel, in relation to the tailings dam breach at the Mount Polley Mine in Likely, B.C.
The investigation and review panel were announced last Monday by energy and mines minister, Bill Bennett.
Under the Environmental Assessment Act, the minister of environment can suspend an assessment until the outcome of any investigation, inquiry, hearing or other process that is conducted by the provincial government that is relative to the assessment is complete.
The proposed Morrison Mine would be located 65 km Northeast of Smithers and 35 km North of the Village of Granisle.
The project is a conventional open-pit mine with an extraction rate of approximately 30,000 tonnes per day.
The life span of the mine is expected to be 21 years.
Pacific Booker Minerals were originally denied their environmental assessment certificate for the Morrison Mine project back in October 2012.
However, a ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court overturned the original ruling in December 2013.
Earlier this June Pacific Booker Minerals application for an environmental assessment certificate began to be re-evaluated by the Environmental Assessment Office.
Erik Tournquist, director for Pacific Booker Minerals says that his company will be fully compliant with any recommendations put forward.
“The company will comply with all the recommendations made by the independent expert engineering investigation and review panel,” Tournquist said, “We will construct and operate the Morrison Mine in compliance with industry best practices, using proven technology and in full compliance with all permit requirements.”
The proposed mine requires an environmental assessment certificate because it is a new metal mine with an ore production capacity which exceeds the regulation threshold of 75,000 tonnes per year.
“The company wishes to emphasize that it is committed to bringing the proposed Morrison copper and gold project to commercial production,” Tournquist said.
The project is expected to employ 1117 part-time, full-time and temporary workers during the two year construction period and another 661 part-time, full-time and temporary workers over the 21 year life span of the mine.
It is expected, if approved that the project will bring in an estimated $64.5 million in provincial revenue over the life span, too.