In the story ‘ Morrison Mine’s environmental assessment resumes’ published in the Lakes District News’ June 24, 2015, edition, minister of environment Mary Polak had lifted the suspension of the environmental assessment of the Morrison Copper/Gold Mine project.
A decision regarding the mine’s environmental assessment was expected to be reached before July 9, 2015. However, on July 8, the minister of environment and the minister of energy and mines ordered the Morrison Mine to undergo further assessment.
Morrison Mine’s environmental assessment had been suspended after the Mount Polley Copper/Gold Mine disaster. In June 2014, a massive dam holding the toxic waste water from the Mount Polley mine collapsed, releasing 25 million cubic metres of contaminated water and mining waste, contaminating lakes, creeks and rivers.
In a statement released by Pacific Booker Minerals, the company says it is committed to constructing and operating the Morrison Mine in compliance with industry best practices, using proven technology and in full compliance with all permit requirements.
Earlier this year, the province’s environmental assessment office ordered Pacific Booker Minerals to reassess its plan for storing tailings under water and behind an earth-and-rock dam at the proposed Morrison Mine.
An engineering panel recommended that industry must move away from storing tailings under water behind earthen dams. The panel also suggested filtering tailings to remove the water and dry stacking them to eliminate the risk of tailings dam failures.
The proposed mine will be located 65 km northeast of Smithers and 35 km north of Granisle. The $517-million 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.
It is expected, if approved, that the project will bring in close to $900 million in tax revenues over its life span.
Lake Babine Nation’s chief Wilf Adam has said continuously that there will be consequences if this project moves forward.