Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC)
The Mining Association of British Columbia

The Mining Association of British Columbia

January 21, 2010 14:04 ET

AME BC and MABC: Supreme Court of Canada Releases Judgment Regarding Red Chris Project on January 21, 2010

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire – Jan. 21, 2010) – The Association for Mineral Exploration of British Columbia (AME BC) and the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) welcomed the decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that allows the Red Chris project in northern British Columbia to proceed to permitting and construction. The associations also welcome the Court's recognition that the respective environmental assessment processes of the federal and provincial governments can and should operate so as to minimize duplication.

"We are pleased that the Supreme Court has indicated that the ruling will not impact Red Chris, which means this important B.C. mining project can proceed to permitting and construction, creating jobs and opportunities in northern B.C. at a time when they are most needed," stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of MABC. "The project was subject to a robust environmental assessment with full public participation, facts that were not questioned by the Court. At the same time, the Supreme Court has emphasized that that federal and provincial governments should avoid duplication and can act in a cooperative and coordinated fashion."

"The impact of today's ruling emphasizes that governments must act to ensure that environmental assessments advance the principles of avoiding duplication and therefore wasting resources," stated Gavin Dirom, President and CEO of AME BC. "Canada faces many environmental challenges; we must meet those with efficiency at every turn."

Specifically, the Court stated that the federal government, "...can and should minimize duplication by using coordination mechanisms..."

MABC and AME BC were joint interveners in this case. The associations argued that sustainable development and effective environmental review requires governments to maximize resources through better coordination and harmonization, as was done in the case of Red Chris. The case, which was concerned specifically with the ability of the federal government to exercise discretion in the scoping of project reviews, did not contest the quality and substance of the environmental review of this project. Red Chris was subject to a full environmental assessment by the province of British Columbia and a screening-level review by the federal government. The latter review was completed over three years ago.

About AME BC:
AME BC is the predominant voice of mineral exploration in British Columbia. AME BC is the host of Mineral Exploration Roundup, the world's premier annual technical mineral exploration conference, which is being held January 18-21, 2010, at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver.

About the MABC:
The MABC is regarded as the predominant voice of BC's mining industry representing the collective needs and interests of operating coal, metal and industrial mineral mining companies.

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