Wild Border Watersheds

PROJECT: Schaft Creek

A proposed open pit mine beside a major tributary of the Stikine River, right next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Photo Credit: Mike Fay

Overview

Project Map CEA Project Status BCEA Project Status

The Schaft Creek Project is a proposed open pit mine located about 60 km/38 miles south of Telegraph Creek, British Columbia. Copper Fox Resources and Teck Resources have signed a joint-venture agreement to explore and develop the project. A feasibility study envisions an open pit mine and conventional mill churning through 130,000 tonnes per day over a mine life of at least 21 years. Schaft Creek ore concentrates would be transported by truck along Highway 37 to the Port of Stewart, B.C. The area is remote – an 81 km power line would have to be built from Bob Quinn Lake to the proposed mine site – and construction costs would be substantial. Mine construction is currently estimated to cost $3.3 billion.

Impacts

The proposed Schaft Creek mine would fragment the ecological integrity of the Mess Creek valley, which is directly adjacent with wildlife habitat in the spectacular Mount Edziza Provincial Park. The area around the proposed mine supports a variety of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, including grizzly and black bears, moose, mountain goat, northern caribou, American marten, hoary marmot, Stone’s Sheep, and salmon downstream from the mine site. If developed, the proposed mine would bring access roads, transmission lines, and the threat of acid mine drainage to a part of the transboundary region that is currently without roads or industrial intrusions of any kind. 

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Threats to water quality are of particular concern. The proposed Schaft Creek mine could generate over a billion tons of potentially acid-generating waste rock in a region with extremely high seasonal water levels flowing downstream into the Stikine River. Schaft Creek drains into Mess Creek, a tributary to the Stikine River, which supports 19 fish species, including all 5 species of Pacific salmon. The mine would also generate over 800 million tons of toxic tailings that would be dumped in a lake. The waste rock and tailings would be a potential source of contamination to downstream water quality and wild salmon in the Stikine watershed.

Related News

Schaft Creek 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

Schaft Creek 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