Seabridge’s KSM Project Clears Canadian Environmental Assessment

Canada’s Minister of the Environment Leona Aglukkaq announced on December 19 that Seabridge Gold’s proposed KSM gold-copper- silver-molybdenum project in northwest British Columbia is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when the mitigation measures described in the agency’s “Comprehensive Study Report” are taken into account. The agency referred the project back to the responsible authorities— Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources Canada—for appropriate action.

Aglukkaq has also issued a project recommendation under the “Nisga’a Final Agreement” that includes provisions to mitigate adverse environmental effects on the Nisga’a first nation.

The KSM project had previously received approval from British Columbia environmental authorities in late July 2014.

Seabridge plans to develop the KSM project as a combined open-pit and underground gold-copper-silver-molybdenum mine in the Kerr, Sulphurets, and Mitchell Creek watersheds approximately 65 km northwest of Stewart, British Columbia. The project has 38.2 million oz of gold, 9.9 billion lb of copper, 191 million oz of silver, and 213 million lb of molybdenum in proven and probable reserves and is one of the largest undeveloped mining projects in the world.

Current project design, based on a 2012 preliminary feasibility study, calls for processing of 130,000 mt/d of ore over an anticipated mine life of 52 years. Startup capital costs are estimated by the study at $5.31 billion, including contingencies of $666 million.

Seabridge has stated that it does not have the corporate resources to develop KSM on its own and is seeking participation by a major mining company, either through a joint venture or a sale of interest, to bring the project into production.

As featured in Womp 2015 Vol 01 -