Kemess Underground Project — Public Comments Invited
August 17, 2020 — Ottawa — Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) is holding a public comment period as part of the post-decision phase for the Kemess Underground Project, an underground gold-copper mine located approximately 250 kilometres north of Smithers and 430 kilometres northwest of Prince George, British Columbia.
In March 2017, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change approved the Kemess Underground Project subject to legally-binding conditions which must be fulfilled by the proponent throughout the life of the project. These conditions include advising the Agency of any proposed changes to the project that may result in adverse environmental effects, and providing the Agency with an effects assessment of those changes.
On November 8, 2019, the proponent for the project, AuRico Metals Inc., submitted information to the Agency regarding proposed project changes, which include an increase in the project's ore production capacity, a modification to the design of the tailings storage facility, realignment of a surface route and an increase in truck traffic. The Agency's comment period is in response to these proposed project changes.
The Agency conducted an analysis of the environmental effects associated with the proponent's proposed project changes. The public and Indigenous groups are invited to review the Agency's Analysis Report and provide feedback on its recommended changes to the legally-binding conditions.
Written comments in either official language will be accepted until September 17, 2020.
The Agency recognizes that it is more challenging to undertake meaningful public engagement and Indigenous consultation in light of the circumstances arising from COVID-19. The Agency continues to assess the situation, make adjustments to consultation activities, and is providing flexibility as needed in order to prioritize the health and safety of all Canadians, while fulfilling its responsibility to conduct meaningful engagement with interested groups.
Comments can be submitted online by visiting the project home page on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (reference number 80063). Comments received will be published online as part of the project file. Information on alternative means of submitting comments is also available on the Registry.
As next steps, the Agency will consider comments received in finalizing the recommended changes to the legally-binding conditions for the project. If the Minister agrees with these changes, an amended Decision Statement will be issued to the proponent. The Minister does not have the authority to amend the decision included in the Decision Statement and therefore, approval of the project cannot be withdrawn.
For more information on the project and the post-decision phase, visit the Agency's website at canada.ca/iaac.
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
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