NEWS RELEASE · 1st October 2012
Ministry of Environment
Environment Minister Terry Lake and Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman have refused to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate to Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. for the proposed Morrison Copper/Gold Mine project, located 65 kilometres north of Smithers.
In making their decision to refuse to issue a certificate, the ministers determined that the potential long-term risks of the project outweighed the potential benefits to the province.
The proposed Morrison Mine project was to be located directly adjacent to Morrison Lake, at the headwaters of the Skeena River. The Skeena River is the second-largest producer of sockeye salmon in British Columbia.
On the advice of the Environmental Assessment Office, ministers determined that:
* There is the potential to impact a genetically unique sockeye salmon population that contributes to the Skeena River sockeye.
* The potential for long-term liability for the Province and risk to the environment were not acceptable in this case.
* There is insufficient data about the behaviour of the lake, and the potential diminished long-term water quality in Morrison Lake is not an acceptable risk.
British Columbia's environmental assessment process involves a rigorous, thorough review that provides for significant opportunities for First Nations, government agencies and the public to provide input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects of a proposed project.
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. proposed to utilize conventional truck and shovel equipment to extract approximately 30,000 tonnes of ore per day over 21 years. The proposal included a processing plant, associated mine facilities, sewage and waste water management facilities, explosives storage and mixing plant, fuel storage, overburden stockpile, waste rock storage, low-grade ore stockpile, tailings storage facility, water treatment plant and sludge storage.
Morrison Lake is a 15-kilometre-long lake surrounded by Crown land near Babine Lake.
The closest communities to the proposed mine site are Granisle, Houston and Smithers.