Imperial Metals hands over Giant Copper project to BC government

“Our focus as a mining company would have been to proceed with exploration on our claims,” ​​company president Brian Kynoch said in a press release. “But as a company sensitive to the aspirations of Indigenous communities, government and neighbours, we support this agreement. »

In 1995, the province designated nearly 30,000 hectares for Skagit Valley Provincial Park, but allowed mineral exploration within the company’s 2,500-hectare lease area. Imperial at the time ceded some of its claims along the Skagit River.

The decision to now divest all of its remaining claims recognizes the challenges associated with obtaining mining exploration and development permits in this region, the company said. He further stated that the “consideration payable to Imperial” for the divestiture of the project and the coverage of its previous investments is C$24 million.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation told The Northern Miner that the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission (SEEC), formed by British Columbia and the neighboring city of Seattle in the United States to protect the natural resources of the region, had raised the money, but have not yet paid Imperial Metals.

SEEC has secured C$5 million, British Columbia and Washington State have pledged C$7 million each and the Nature Conservancy of Canada will provide an additional C$5 million, according to the ministry.

The Northern Miner asked Imperial Metals for comment but did not hear back by press time.

“The agreement is another step in the right direction to protect the rich natural heritage of the Silverdaisy watershed and surrounding areas for generations to come,” British Columbia Premier John Horgan said in a statement. Press release.

George Heyman, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Strategy, echoed a similar sentiment and said the agreement “recognizes the importance of old-growth forests and diverse species in the Silverdaisy catchment and the surrounding ecosystem.

Thomas Curley, Canadian co-chair of the SEEC, described the agreement as a “historic step forward”.

“Protection of this sensitive and diverse ecosystem with its significant populations of fish and wildlife begins at the headwaters of the Skagit River in Upper Skagit,” Curley said.

Industrial activity in the area has historically faced opposition from indigenous communities and environmental groups. In 2019, the province responded to calls from activists and halted logging operations in the Silverdaisy area by halting all timber sales licenses in the same area of ​​land.

In December 2020, Imperial Metals released drill results for the project, highlights of which included 3.11 meters grading 20.15 grams of gold per tonne from 1.16 meters in drillhole GC-20- 0-4 and 1 meter grading 15.20 grams of gold per tonne from 0 meter in drill hole GC-20-0-1.

Drill results released in 2017 included 12.8 grams of gold per tonne over 10 meters.

(This article first appeared in The Northern Miner)

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