Mining News: Northern Neighbors: Western embraces more scrutiny of vast Casino copper-gold project
Western Copper and Gold Corp. Feb. 18 said the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board is requiring a panel review of its Casino copper-gold project for matters relating to tailings and waste management and potential effects to wildlife. A panel review is a higher level of Canada’s environmental assessment process that requires a group of experts to scrutinize the project. YESAB informed Casino Mining Corp., a subsidiary of Western, that it has notified the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change of the territory’s requirement for a panel review. Western says moving Casino to the highest level of assessment at this early stage removes the uncertainty that the world-class copper-gold project will be referred to panel later in the assessment process, potentially saving the company time and money. Western said the decision will provide it with an opportunity to engage the broader public in addition to federal, territorial and First Nation governments, and to demonstrate that the Casino mine can be built without significant adverse effects. Western Copper President and CEO Paul West-Sells said, “We appreciate that a mine of this significance requires all key aspects to be thoroughly evaluated. We look forward to working with Yukoners to ensure the project moves forward in an environmentally and socially responsible way.” The company said a feasibility study completed in 2013 shows favorable economics for a mine at Casino, even at today’s low commodity prices. A 2013 report indicates that the mine should be transformative for Yukon and Canada, delivering hundreds of jobs, contributing C$9.6 billion to the Canadian economy, and paying C$3.2 billion in taxes and royalties to federal, territorial, and First Nation governments over its expected mine life.
- Shane Lasley