On August 26, Barkerville Gold Mines LTD visited The Soda Creek Indian Band for a community meeting and discussion. We did a question and answer with them afterwards for those community members who were unable to attend:
What is Barkerville Gold Mines proposing and where will the Project take place?
Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM) is proposing the development and operation of the Cariboo Gold Project (the Project), which includes:
The Cariboo Gold Mine, an underground mine producing an average of 4,750 tonnes per day of ore located in the District of Wells, including underground crushing, a surface concentrator and paste backfill plant, a waste rock storage facility, access roads, and associated mine infrastructure;
BGM’s existing Quesnel River Mill (QR Mill) and associated infrastructure and construction of a new dry stack tailings storage facility;
Supporting Transportation Routes:
Transportation of ore between the Mine Site and QR Mill along 56 kilometres (km) of Highway 26 and 59 km of the 500 Nyland Lake Forest Service Road, a forest service road maintained by West Fraser Mills Ltd;
Transportation of workers and goods to Wells from Quesnel along Highway 26;
Transportation of workers and goods to QR Mill from Quesnel along Highway 26 and the 500 Nyland Lake Road, and along the Quesnel Hydraulic Road to the 2700 Road and the 500 Nyland Lake Road; and
Transmission Line: a new 69 kV transmission line, approximately 72 km in length, that follows a corridor along forest service roads north of Highway 26 from the Barlow Substation near Quesnel to the Mine Site near Wells.
What will happen to any waste products?
Depending on the type of waste, it will be directed into the appropriate waste program for its disposal. For example, hazardous waste is safely contained on site until an external contractor, specializing in waste removal, can take it for disposal at a certified facility.
What is the timeline for the project?
The Project entered the Environmental Assessment process in May 2020. The Early Engagement Phase completed on September 1, 2020, and BGM is currently working to finalize the Detailed Project Description for submission in Fall 2020. The current timeline projects that the Environmental Assessment Certificate will be issued in July 2022 with permitting and construction to follow in early 2023.
What will happen to the project after the mining is done?
Once the project is complete, BGM will reclaim all sites and remove all associated infrastructure. The reclamation and closure plan will be developed as the Project progress through the Environmental Assessment and will take into account input received from Indigenous nations, local communities and technical advisors.
What assurances are there in place to make sure the project is safe and will be cleaned up?
BGM is committed to operating a safe and environmentally progressive mine that uses previously disturbed sites where possible. BGM also completes progressive reclamation and cleans up as they go. In addition, in order to receive a Mines Act permit from the Chief Inspector of Mines, BGM (along with all other mining companies in the province) must submit a reclamation and closure plan and cost estimate that will inform the amount of security bonding to be put in place. This bond is held in trust by the province until such time the Chief Inspector of Mines deems the property reclaimed. Currently, the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources holds over $17M in bonding for BGM properties.
How will Xat’sull members benefit?
BGM is committed to providing training and employment opportunities to all of our Indigenous nations partners. BGM will work with Xat’sull to develop training programs that will benefit those community members looking to join the mining team. In addition, joint venture and contracting opportunities will be available throughout project construction and operation.
Anything else you think Xat’sull members should know?
BGM is committed to a long term ongoing, meaningful, collaborative relationship with Xat’sull. BGM is also committed to the environment, cleaning up legacy mining sites and leaving the environment better than we found it.