Mining News

Spanish Mountain’s initial project description receives BC, federal agency acceptance

Spanish Mountain Gold (TSXV: SPA) has had its initial project description (IPD) and early engagement plan officially accepted by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (IAAC).

The IPD and early engagement plan, which were submitted earlier this month, are part of the environmental assessment (EA) and permitting process of the company’s flagship gold project located in the Cariboo region of central British Columbia.

The IPD provides an overview description of the company’s plans to develop, operate and eventually decommission the Spanish Mountain gold project, which, according to a pre-feasibility study published in 2021, is expected to operate for 14 years producing a total of 2.1 million oz. gold.

The early engagement plan identifies parties with a potential interest in the project and details the engagement that has already been conducted and any issues or concerns that have been raised. It also presents the company’s plans to engage with indigenous nations, the public and government through the initial phases of the EA processes.

“I believe this timely approval of the documents (without requesting amendments) by the EA agencies is attributable to our extensive technical preparedness and broad engagement approach over the years. Again, we are hopeful that this substantive groundwork will help us avoid many potential pitfalls and delays in the intricate process,” Spanish Mountain CEO Larry Yau said in a media release.

The environmental assessment now moves into the early engagement phase of the provincial process and the planning phase of the federal process. Early engagement is a 90-day process of engagement with indigenous nations, the public and municipalities, including a 30-day public comment period, resulting in a summary of engagement that will inform the development of the detailed project description.

The BCEAO has submitted a request to substitute its provincial environmental assessment process under B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Act (2018) in place of the federal impact assessment, should one be required. The IAAC will seek views on this request as part of the public comment period.

The substitution request, if accepted, will result in the BCEAO conducting a single assessment that the federal and provincial governments will rely upon to make respective decisions.

The Spanish Mountain project team will continue their engagement with First Nations and the public throughout, as part of the action plan for the project’s EA and subsequent permitting, the company said.

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