Terrane Metals has received its BC Mines Act Permit.
It is significant milestone for Terrane and the Mount Milligan project, according to Glen Wonders, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Sustainability for Terrane Metals.
“The Mines Act permit is the operational approval from the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources that allows Terrane to proceed with the construction and operation of the mine,” Wonders said. “It is the single most important permit for mining operations.”
The awarding of the BC Mines Act Permit does not mean that Terrane had a green light to begin construction and go ahead with mining operations yet.
“Terrane still requires a number of other provincial and federal approvals to proceed, the most critical of which at this time is the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (federal EA) approval,” he said. “All of these necessary approvals are either under review by regulatory agencies, or being finalized by Terrane for submission in the near future to enable us to proceed with Project development.”
Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said that the mining permit allows Terrane to move forward with securing funding for the mine project.
“They still need the federal EA, but the provincial EA and mining permit gives some additional certainty,” he said.
The awarding of provincial permitting is a big step towards the reality of a mining operation near Fort St. James, but Terrane has to wait on the federal EA process.
“They’re going through a comprehensive review which will consider the information the province has been provided,” Rustad said. “The federal EA is the last hurdle from a regulatory perspective. I’m hopeful this will be completed this fall, but it may take until early next spring.”
Nak’azdli Chief Fred Sam said recently that he is not happy about the permitting being awarded, but Rustad said that the rewarding of the provincial EA and mining permit has no impact on Nak’azdli’s claim or the potential court case.
Terrane has recently announced that Terrane has identified new potential porphyry targets. Wonders said that the potential new targets will not change what Terrane has proposed in either the Environmental Assessment application, or supporting permits.
“This is simply stating that the ground based, non-drilling exploration program that was recently completed identified some additional areas that will require more exploration work to define the nature and size of the target,” he said. “It is a positive development, but at this point Terrane is unable to define anything more about the target than its existence and potential interest to the company.”
Rustad is hopeful that the mine will begin working soon.
“I’m not an expert in the workings of the mine, but I’m hopeful that the provincial permits may allow Terrane to move forward with some aspects of the mine construction quickly,” he said. “If the federal EA is completed before spring and the funding is in place, I suspect the mine will be into full construction by late spring or early summer of 2010.”