October 2, 2006

EA hearings scheduled for Kemess North copper-gold mine proposal

The joint panel reviewing the Kemess North copper-gold mine project in British Columbia will hold public hearings on the proposal beginning October 30, 2006 in Prince George and November 20, 2006 in Smithers. The Prince George sessions will start at 1:00 p.m. on October 30 and continue through November 3, with the Smithers sessions beginning at 1:00 p.m. on November 20 and concluding on November 24. Morning, evening or additional sessions may be scheduled as needed in either or both locations to accommodate interested individuals and organizations.

The public hearings will give interested parties an opportunity to better understand the project and its consequences and to provide their views and concerns to the joint review panel. Government departments will present their views on the project and its effects.

The hearings will also allow the proponent, Northgate Minerals, to present the project and offer clarifying information. The focus will be on Northgate's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as well as on any additional information requested by the panel.

The joint review panel will make operational procedures for the public hearings available shortly. Meanwhile, prospective participants are asked to register with the panel secretariat on or before October 20, 2006 to schedule a presentation date and time. Participants are also expected to provide one print and one electronic copy of their submissions.

The registration contact is Mel Falk, panel analyst, Kemess North Mine joint review panel, 250/387-2438, FAX 250/387-2208, E-mail Mel.Falk@gov.bc.ca.

Northgate Minerals is proposing to develop the Kemess North copper and gold deposit, 250 km northeast of Smithers. The project would be located six km north of the company's existing Kemess Mine, which is expected to close in late 2009. The development would include a new open pit, modification of the existing mill, and related infrastructure. When complete, it would increase milling capacity at the existing operation from the current 55,000 tonnes per day to up to 120,000 tonnes per day.

More information is available from panel co-managers Marie-France Therrien, 613/957-0324, FAX 613/957-0941, E-mail marie-france.therrien@ceaa-acee.gc.ca, or Ray Crook, 250/387-2438, FAX 250/387-2208, E-mail Raymond.Crook@gov.bc.ca, or on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry, www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca, reference number 04-07-3394 .

In other EA activities, three applicants have been selected by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to receive a total of $140,430 in financial assistance from the Agency's participant funding program. The recipients include the Grasslands Naturalists Society, the Alberta Wilderness Association and Nature Canada.

The funding will support their participation in the environmental assessment by a Canada-Alberta joint review panel of EnCana's proposed shallow gas infill development project in the Suffield National Wildlife Area in Alberta. The program support will help the oranizations to review the guidelines for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), to review the EIS and to participate in the public hearings.

More information on the participant funding program is available from Suzanne Osborne at the Agency, 613/957-0254, FAX 613/957-0496. E-mail suzanne.osborne@ceaa-acee.gc.ca.

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