Vancouver-based explorer Imperial Metals has reached an agreement with British Columbia to surrender the Giant Copper mineral claims, which are surrounded by two parks.
The claims, which Imperial has held since April 1988, host two mineral deposits containing copper, silver and gold and a recently discovered gold showing.
The claim area predates the creation of Manning Park and the Skagit Valley Provincial Park.
In 1995, following a public review process, the province designated almost 30 000 ha as the Skagit Valley Provincial Park, while allowing mineral exploration in the 2 500 ha claim area. Imperial at the time surrendered some of its claims along the Skagit river to enhance what would become the Skagit Valley Provincial Park in return for a commitment to allow mineral exploration and possibly mining in the remaining Giant Copper claims.
The decision to now surrender all remaining claims recognises the challenges of obtaining mineral exploration and development permits in this area, says Imperial president Brian Kynoch.
The consideration payable to Imperial for the surrender, covering all prior investment in the Giant Copper claim area, is C$24-million.
Imperial owns the Mount Polley and Huckleberry mines, as well as a 30% interest in the Red Chris mine and greenfield exploration properties in British Columbia.