April 15, 2019 – Ottawa – Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
The Government of Canada is working to protect the environment while growing the economy and creating good jobs for Canadians.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced that the proposed Blackwater Gold Project can proceed following a thorough and science-based environmental assessment process concluding that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account. The proponent, New Gold Inc., can now proceed with obtaining any additional authorizations and permits from federal departments.
The project consists of the construction, operation and closure of an open-pit gold and silver mine located 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof, British Columbia. The proposed $1.8 billion project could create up to 1,500 jobs during construction and 495 during operations over the life of the project, according to figures provided by the proponent.
The Minister’s Decision Statement establishes 172 conditions the proponent must fulfill throughout the life of the project. These conditions will reduce or eliminate the potential effects on the environment and include measures to protect wetlands, fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, the current use of lands and resources by Indigenous Peoples, physical and cultural heritage and structures, and wildlife and species at risk.
“The Government of Canada is protecting the environment and growing the economy. By evaluating this project based on science and Indigenous knowledge, and putting in place legally-binding measures that will protect the environment, we are helping create economic growth and nearly 2,000 jobs for the community.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. In support of this partnership, the Agency and British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office worked together coordinating the federal and provincial environmental assessments with several Indigenous groups to assess the impacts of the project on their respective Aboriginal rights.
In making her decision, the Minister considered the Environmental Assessment Report and comments received from the public and Indigenous groups.
The Report includes the Agency’s conclusions and recommendations on the potential environmental effects of the project, an assessment of the impacts of the project on Aboriginal rights, the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any adverse environmental effects and the follow-up program requirements.