OTTAWA, Dec. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced today that the proposed Ajax Mine Project, located near the City of Kamloops, British Columbia, is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and cumulative effects to Indigenous heritage and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Indigenous peoples.
The project was assessed as a comprehensive study under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (the former Act). The Minister has referred the project back to the responsible authorities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Natural Resources Canada. The responsible authorities must now seek a final decision from Cabinet on whether the project can proceed.
In reaching her decision on significance, the Minister considered the Joint Federal Comprehensive Study / Provincial Assessment Report and public and Indigenous comments received. The Report was prepared jointly by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and B.C.'s Environmental Assessment Office and includes conclusions and recommendations regarding the potential environmental effects of the project, taking into account the implementation of proposed mitigation measures.
The Minister's decision was also informed by the results of an independent and community-based assessment of the project completed by Stk'emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN), released in early 2017. SSN actively participated in the federal environmental assessment, providing input through the project working group and through direct consultation activities with the Agency.
The Minister also took into account information provided by the City of Kamloops on its review of the project.
If constructed, the proposed project would be a copper/gold mine with a lifespan of approximately 23 years.
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SOURCE Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
For further information: Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 613-462-5473; Karen Fish, Communications Advisor, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 613-552-1195, [email protected]