Wild Border Watersheds

PROJECT: Brucejack

A proposed gold mine in high alpine terrain upstream from Misty Fjords National Monument

Photo Credit: Mike Fay

Overview

Project Map CEA Project Status BCEA Project Status

The Brucejack project is a proposed gold-silver mine located 65 km northwest of Stewart, B.C., and about 40 km upstream from the Alaska border and Misty Fiords National Monument. In a high alpine setting bordered by glaciers and ice fields, Pretium Resources proposes to develop a 2,700 tonnes per day underground mine, with a mine life of 16 years. Some 63 km/39 miles of tunnels would be carved into the mountain rock beneath the glaciers. Approximately 5 million tonnes of waste rock, 16 million tonnes of tailings waste, and groundwater would be stored in the tunnels or dumped into Brucejack Lake. Road access to the proposed mine would be built through the northern end of the Nass watershed, while power would come from a 138 kV transmission line connecting to the Long Lake hydroelectric project near Stewart, B.C. 

Impacts

The proposed Brucejack Mine would generate at least 16 million tonnes of tailings waste that would be stored in perpetuity within underground tunnels or in Brucejack Lake, at the headwaters of Sulphurets Creek, which flows into the Unuk River and on into Misty Fjords National Monument in Alaska. The Unuk River supports all five species of Pacific salmon, including the largest U.S. run of chinook salmon in southeast Alaska. Dolly Varden char are present below the cascade in Sulphurets Creek.

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Construction and operation of the mine would generate noise disturbances and air pollution including nitrous oxides, sulphur oxides, and greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed mine would require the construction of transmission lines and a 75 km/47 miles access road through a largely intact section of the Nass watershed. Key species in the region that would likely be affected include moose, mountain goat, grizzly bear, wolverine, and migratory birds including waterfowl and raptors. Two guide outfitter territories and three registered trap lines overlap with proposed project infrastructure, as well as other commercial recreational tenures and angling licenses. Industrial traffic on Highway 37 to Stewart, B.C. would greatly increase, posing another hazard to wildlife.

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Brucejack Canadian Federal Environmental Assessment Process

PROPOSAL
SUBMITTED

CNSC or NEB is the Responsible Authority

CEA Agency is the Responsible Authority (45 days for screening)

No screening required. CEAA 2012 does not apply.

Regulatory EA process by CNSC or NEB
(public participation)

Public comments on whether an EA is required
(20 days)

Panel Review (2-yr limit). Public comments collected. "Interested parties" can participate in hearings

Standard Review
(1-year limit).
Public participation

Exempt from federal EA due to substitution or discretion

Exempt from CEAA 2012 due to equivalency

FEDERAL DECISION

Brucejack British Columbia Environmental Assessment Process

INITIAL PROPOSAL
SUBMITTED

Scope and
process for
review
determined by
EAO

Application
Information
Requirements
(30-day public
comment period)

APPLICATION
SUBMITTED

Application
evaluated for
completeness by
EAO

Application review
(Public comment
period)

Assessment report
prepared by EAO

DECISION BY
MINISTER

Pre-application: no time limit

Completion evaluation: 30 days

Application review: 180 days

Decision: 45 days