A recent decision by Seabridge Gold to redesign the KSM project will reduce waste rock by more than two billion tonnes, protect traditional food sources and ensure water quality. (from the Smithers Interior News, January 2012)
“After lengthy general discussions with the responsible authorities including Treaty and First Nations, we went back to the drawing board to look at design alternatives to reduce the amount of waste rock that the KSM Project would produce. Our aim from the beginning has been to work collaboratively to put forward a project which accommodates
public input prior to submitting the EA Application for review by all responsible authorities,” says Rudi Fronk, President of Seabridge Gold.
Originally designed as an open pit, truck and shovel operation, the KSM Project’s design improvements include mining the Mitchell deposit in a combined open pit and underground operation which will reduce the size of the pit. The new design is also evaluating road access and tailing alternatives for the project reflecting feedback from the Nisga’a Nation and the Tahltan, Gitxsan and Gitanyow First Nations as well as regulators.
Looking at development alternatives is an important part of the Environmental Assessment process. “We’re going to release our third Preliminary Feasibility Study for KSM this spring, reflecting our commitment to improving the project design and incorporating stakeholder feedback. We believe the result is a more refined project design that will stand on its technical merits” says Fronk.
For the past three years, Seabridge has been conducting community engagement with the
Nisga’a Nation, First Nations and public stakeholders to provide information about the project and listen to feedback. This has included site visits to mines similar to KSM to highlight proposed project details; site visits to KSM; and public meetings. In addition,
Seabridge hosts frequent working group sessions with government regulators, Aboriginal
groups and their technical consultants to review the project in detail as it has evolved.
Seabridge opened an office in Smithers in 2011, with the goal of providing a place for community members to fi nd out more about the project. Elizabeth Miller, Seabridge’s Manager, Environmental Affairs, works out of the Smithers office.
“Being welcome in the communities where we operate is essential to our business. I encourage anyone with questions about KSM to give us a call, or stop by the office to talk with us. Large mining developments are challenging and it can be difficult to understand how everything fits together. Part of our job is to help people understand what the KSM Project involves,” says Ms. Miller.
Seabridge plans to file its EA application in late 2012.