Kemess Underground Project — Environmental Assessment Decision
March 15, 2017 — Ottawa — Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Government of Canada is committed to growing the economy while protecting the environment. In the twenty-first century, resources must only get to market in a sustainable and responsible way.
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, today announced that the proposed Kemess Underground Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and the project may proceed. The project is an underground gold-copper mine proposed by AuRico Metals Inc. and located 250 kilometres north of Smithers, British Columbia.
As part of the Environmental Assessment Decision Statement, the Minister established 87 legally-binding conditions, including mitigation measures and follow-up requirements that the proponent must meet throughout the life of the project. Implementing these conditions will reduce or eliminate the potential impacts of the project on the environment.
The Government of British Columbia conducted the environmental assessment of the Kemess Underground Project on behalf of both the federal and provincial governments, with the participation of several expert federal authorities including Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada and Natural Resources Canada.
Today's decision reflects the Government of Canada's Interim Approach and Principles for environmental assessments, which ensures that project decisions are informed by meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples, public input and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.
As a next step, the proponent is required to obtain the appropriate regulatory authorizations and permits before construction can begin.
"This project benefitted from a thorough, science-based environmental assessment, including meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups and the public, which enabled an informed decision by both governments. My decision statement sets out a series of legally-binding conditions that the proponent must meet. These, together with our oversight regime, will help protect the environment throughout the life of the project."
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
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