BRITISH COLUMBIA – Vancouver-based IMPERIAL METALS reports the Federal Court of Canada ruled on Sept. 25, 2007, that the federal environmental assessment of the Red Chris copper-gold project was procedurally incorrect. It should have been carried out as a comprehensive study review and not as a screening level review.
The judgment sets aside the federal environmental assessment completed in May 2006, which determined the Red Chris project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. As a result of this judgment, NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA and the DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES & OCEANS will be required to revisit the environmental assessment of the project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA).
The decision of the federal court does not affect the Environmental Assessment Certificate issued by British Columbia in August 2005 following a thorough environmental assessment that concluded the Red Chris project is not likely to cause significant adverse impacts.
Imperial calls this court decision a setback for the environmental review of projects in Canada, because it significantly limits the ability of federal and provincial authorities to harmonize their respective review processes and avoid costly duplication and uncertainty. The company plans to consult with NRCan and DFO to determine how they wish to proceed. (See www.ImperialMetals.com)