Mining firm New Gold has secured conditional approval from the federal government to go ahead with the proposed C$1.8bn ($1.3bn) Blackwater gold project in central British Columbia.
Located 160km southwest of Prince George and 100km south of Vanderhoof in central British Columbia, the Blackwater gold and silver mine is spread over approximately 15,000ha on the northern flanks of Mt. Davidson.
Following a science-based environmental assessment, the government has determined that the open pit mine is not likely to cause significant adverse effects to the environment when mitigation measures are implemented.
The approval is based on Environmental Assessment Report and comments received from the public and Indigenous groups.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency reported that the decision sets out 172 conditions for New Gold to fulfill throughout the life of the project.
The conditions include reducing or eliminating the potential effects on the environment and including measures to protect wetlands, fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, the current use of lands and resources by Indigenous Peoples, physical and cultural heritage and structures, and wildlife and species at risk.
Canadia Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna said: “By evaluating this project based on science and Indigenous knowledge, and putting in place legally-binding measures that will protect the environment, we are helping create economic growth and nearly 2,000 jobs for the community.”
The mining project, which is subject to further authorizations and permits from federal departments, involves construction, operation and closure of an open-pit gold and silver mine.
The project is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs during the construction phase and 495 jobs during operations over its operational life, according to New Gold.
Over the mine life of 17 years, the proposed Blackwater project is expected to produce 60,000 tons per day of gold and silver ore.
The mine site will consist of an open pit, ore processing facilities, a tailings storage facility, waste rock dumps, water management facilities, offices, accommodation camps, warehouses, and a truck shop.