TORONTO – Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA) says a federal agency has dismissed a complaint by Alaskan conservationists against the company’s massive KSM mining project in northern British Columbia.
The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council had appealed to Canada’s National Contact Point within Global Affairs Canada to look into whether the company had violated international guidelines on consultations with stakeholders, due diligence on environmental and human rights impacts, and disclosure of mitigation plans.
The group is concerned that the proposed KSM mine, which is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in the world and sits about 35 kilometres from the Alaskan border, would threaten the wild salmon habitat downstream in Alaska.
Canada’s National Contact Point, which promotes the OECD guidelines on multinational companies, decided it wouldn’t benefit from getting involved in the dispute. It says Seabridge had consulted with Alaskans despite not being required to, and notes the project had already been approved after rigorous provincial and federal environmental assessments.
The agency did recommend that Seabridge continue consultations with all stakeholders, and that it officially and publicly endorse the OECD guidelines on multinationals as well as ones specifically on the extractive sector.
Seabridge released an updated mine plan for KSM in October last year that would see more underground mining and smaller open pits, potentially reducing the waste rock it would generate by about 81 per cent or 2.4 billion tonnes.