Proposed $1.8B mining project for Northern B.C. gets environmental approval

The federal environment ministry has greenlit a proposed $1.8 billion mining project in Northern B.C.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change announced its approval of the proposed Blackwater Gold project “following a thorough and science-based environmental assessment process.”

The announcement means an open-pit gold and silver mine could be built and operated about 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, B.C., without the need for any further authorization and permits from the Ottawa ministry.

The approval comes with 172 conditions the company must meet during the mine’s construction and operation to reduce or eliminate any harm that could be done to the environment.

The conditions, according to the ministry, protect wetlands, fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, the current use of lands and resources by Indigenous peoples as well as physical and cultural heritage and structures.

A statement released Tuesday said the project could create up to 1,500 jobs during construction and another 496 during operations over the life of the project.

The mine’s lifespan would be about 17 years.

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