POLITICS

Tahltan say Red Chris mine permit undermines trust in the B.C. government

05/07/2012 12:32 EDT | Updated 07/07/2012 05:12 EDT
ISKUT, B.C. - Members of a remote B.C. First Nation vow to examine every option to fight construction approval granted to a huge copper and gold mine in the northwestern corner of the province.

The Tahltan First Nation says the Red Chris mine, 20 kilometres outside the village of Iskut, about 300 kilometres due east of Juneau, Alaska, has the potential to turn a pristine valley into a tailings pond.

On Friday, the province announced a subsidiary of Imperial Metals (TSX:III) would be allowed to develop the mine, which has an estimated output of 30,000 tonnes per day.

Tahltan Central Council President Annita McPhee says the First Nation is still waiting for answers to environmental, cultural, and rights and title concerns raised by construction of the open pit operation.

She points to a 2010 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that found the Federal government side-stepped a duty to prepare an environmental assessment, although the Red Chris Development Corporation says the latest permit comes with a pledge to form a committee to review and address environmental concerns.

Estimated cost of the development is set at $444 million, with the mine expected to create 250 full-time jobs over its anticipated 28-year lifespan. (CFTK)