September 5-12, 2005

BC copper-gold mine project receives environmental approval

VICTORIA, BC-The proposed Red Chris copper-gold mine project has received environmental approval following a comprehensive review by British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Office. Located 450 km north of Smithers and 18 km southeast of Iskut, the Red Chris mine project involves the construction and operation of an open-pit mine, including storage areas, waste dumps, an access road, a power line to the site, a worker camp and a water supply. The Environmental Assessment Certificate contains requirements to protect the environment during the 25-year life of the project. Among the requirements are: a wildlife management plan, to be developed with input from government and the Iskut and Tahltan First Nations; a fisheries habitat compensation plan that meets Fisheries Act requirements; a First Nations and local consultation program throughout the life of the mine to solicit feedback with respect to socioeconomic, environmental and wildlife management issues; and plans to reclaim the site on completion of the project. In addition, until a viable power source is determined, no development of the project that would create disturbance to the land will be permitted, except for that allowed under the existing exploration permit. The capital cost of the development is approximately $228 million, with construction scheduled to begin in the spring of 2006.

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