VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – The Canadian federal government has passed a regulatory amendment authorising project developer Seabridge Gold to use fish-bearing streams in the tailings management facility (TMF) for its Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) project, in north-western British Columbia.
The company announced on Tuesday that the federal government has issued a regulatory amendment to Schedule 2 of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) under the Fisheries Act for KSM’s TMF, subject to strict bonding and fishery habit compensation requirements that were identified during the three-year amendment review process.
The amendment authorises certain natural water bodies frequented by fish for use in a TMF.
In the KSM project design, the TMF is in the upper tributaries of Teigen and Treaty creeks, which form part of the Nass river drainage. The TMF will store the project’s ore-processing byproducts to reduce environmental impacts downstream, the company advised.
“Receipt of this amendment represents a significant permitting milestone for KSM, equivalent in many ways to our receipt of environmental assessment approvals from the provincial and federal governments in 2014. This approval further validates that KSM’s TMF is well-designed and environmentally responsible,” Seabridge chairperson and CEO Rudi Fronk said in a statement.
Another company awaiting an amendment to Schedule 2 of the MMER is New Gold, as it advances construction of the Rainy River project, in Ontario. The company requires an amendment to Schedule 2 to close two small creeks and deposit tailings.
The company reported on Tuesday that the proposed amendment was published in Canada Gazette I on May 13, and was followed by a 30-day public comment period that concluded on June 12. New Gold said it understands that the comments received during the comment period were all in support of the project proceeding as proposed.
Considering the positive comments, the company has revisited the proposed timeline with Environment and Climate Change Canada and expects that adoption of the Schedule 2 amendment will be accelerated to the fourth quarter of 2017.