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Public Notice
Kemess Underground Project - Public Comments Invited

February 21, 2014 - As part of the strengthened and modernized Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) put in place to support the government's Responsible Resource Development Initiative, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) must decide whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed Kemess Underground Project located in British Columbia (B.C.). To assist it in making its decision, the Agency is seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment.

Substitution Request

The Government of B.C. has requested the substitution of the B.C. environmental assessment process for the CEAA 2012 process if it is determined that an environmental assessment is required. The Agency is also seeking comments on this request.

In considering the Government of B.C.'s request, the federal Minister of the Environment must be satisfied, under CEAA 2012, that:

  • the process to be substituted will include a consideration of the factors set out in subsection 19(1) of CEAA 2012;
  • the public will be given an opportunity to participate in the environmental assessment;
  • the public will have access to records in relation to the environmental assessment to enable their meaningful participation;
  • at the end of the environmental assessment, a report will be submitted to the Agency;
  • the report will be made available to the public; and
  • any other conditions the Minister establishes are or will be met.

The Minister would also establish the following additional conditions for this project:

  • the involvement of expert federal departments in the B.C. process;
  • B.C. meeting the CEAA 2012 365-day time frame for completing the environmental assessment;
  • B.C. conducting procedural aspects of Aboriginal consultation; and
  • B.C. making available to Aboriginal groups funding provided by the Agency to support consultation during the substituted environmental assessment.

B.C.'s request is in accordance with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Agency and the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office to enable efficient and timely use of the CEAA 2012 substitution provisions. The MOU addresses the processes leading to substitution, the conduct of the substituted environmental assessment and associated Aboriginal consultation, and the coordination of decision-making, monitoring and follow-up after the environmental assessment. The MOU and a Backgrounder on substitution under CEAA 2012 are available on the Agency's website.

Public Comments

Written comments on the need for a federal environmental assessment and on the substitution request must be submitted by March 13, 2014 to:

Kemess Underground Project
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
410-701 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V7Y 1C6
Telephone: 604-666-2431
Fax: 604-666-6990
Email: Kemess@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

Map depicting the location of the project, as described in the current document.

To view a summary of the project description or for more information on the project, the substitution request, and the environmental assessment process, visit the Agency's website (Registry reference number 80063). All comments received will be considered public.

The Agency will post its decision on whether a federal environmental assessment is required on its website. A notice of the Minister's decision on the request for substitution will also be posted on the Agency's website if it is determined that a federal environmental assessment is required.

The Proposed Project

AuRico Gold Inc. proposes to construct and operate the Kemess Underground Project, an underground gold-copper mine located approximately 250 kilometres northeast of Smithers and 430 kilometres northwest of Prince George, British Columbia. As proposed, the project is anticipated to have an ore production capacity of approximately 24,650 tonnes per day (105,000 ounces of gold and 44 million pounds of copper per year) using underground block caving methods, over a predicted 12-year mine life.

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