Seabridge Gold Alaskan salmon complaint dismissed

Seabridge Gold Alaskan salmon complaint dismissed

Seabridge Gold inches one step closer to completing its mining project

Canada’s National Contact Point (NCP) has dismissed a complaint against Seabridge Gold by the South East Alaska Conservation Council against the company’s KSM mining project in northern British Columbia.

The NCP is a federal agency that operates within the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and promotes adherence to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s guidelines on multinational companies.

The South East Alaska Conservation Council was concerned the proposed KSM mine, which is 35 kilometres from the Alaskan border, would endanger the wild salmon habitat downstream in Alaska.

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The council had asked the NCP to investigate whether Seabridge Gold had violated international guidelines on consultations with stakeholders, due diligence on environmental and human rights impacts, and disclosure of mitigation plans.

The NCP started its investigation in January. The announcement of its conclusion came Nov. 21.

“We’re pleased with the dismissal and the fact that the federal government, the NCP, did agree with the robustness of the environmental assessment review process that were completed in 2014,” said Brent Murphy, vice president of environmental affairs at Seabridge Gold.

Murphy said the next step for the project is to find a partner to operate the mine.

Approximately 2,500 jobs could be created during the construction phase of the project, a majority of which the company intends to fill with workers from British Columbia. Seabridge Gold has a regional office in Smithers.

“It will be a significant employer,” Murphy said. “During the operation [of the mine] we’re looking at about 1,000 jobs and again we would like to have a vast majority of the jobs from B.C.”

The hiring process won’t begin until after a partner for the project is found.

“Unfortunately, we’re still a ways away,” Murphy said. “[The hiring process] will be up, ultimately, to a new joint venture partner.”

mike.grace-dacosta@interior-news.com