Updated: Mar 2, 2022
A request by Seabridge Gold to have its proposed KSM mine Environmental Assessment Certificate extended by two years due to pandemic issues has been granted by British Columbia. Under provincial regulations, mine development authorized by an Environmental Assessment Certificate is supposed to be initiated within five years of the time it is granted, the idea being that the environmental reviews upon which a certificate is based should be timely. The regulations allow for a one time only five year extension which Seabridge had already applied for and been granted. Now Seabridge has been given an additional two years extension with the alleged rationale of Covid challenges which, when scrutinized, don’t seem legitimate.
More than a technicality, this catering to the needs of the mining industry matters because it means, for BC, the integrity of environmental stipulations is less important than industry’s wishes. KSM would be a gigantic mine in southern transboundary Unuk and Nass Rivers headwaters with unprecedented environmental implications. The most robust and stringent reviews are called for as opposed to cutting corners. RWB and others opposed the extension but it was granted nonetheless.
Read the press release about this decision here.