Skeena Resources wins appeal over Eskay Creek tailings storage facility

The miner has successfully appealed a prior decision regarding ownership of waste rock and tailings from the British Columbia mine.
The exploration camp at the Eskay Creek gold project. Credit: Skeena Resources

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Skeena Resources (TSX: SKE) (NYSE: SKE) has successfully appealed a prior decision regarding ownership of waste rock and tailings from the past-producing Eskay Creek mine in British Columbia stored in the company’s Albino Lake facility.

The BC Court of Appeal overturned the rulings of the Chief Gold Commissioner and the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which had previously recognized an individual named Richard Mill’s ownership of the Eskay Creek material.

The dispute centered on whether Skeena relinquished its rights to the Eskay Creek material when it was deposited in the Albino Lake storage facility. The former Chief Gold Commissioner and Justice Iyer of the BC Supreme Court had both ruled in favor of Mill, citing a 2017 mineral claim grant from the Province.

However, the Court of Appeal found these decisions to be “clearly and palpably wrong.” The Court stated that the Province could not grant ownership rights to the Eskay Creek material to Mr. Mill as he did not hold those rights at the time. Consequently, the former Chief Gold Commissioner’s decision was deemed erroneous.

The matter has now been referred back to the current Chief Gold Commissioner for rehearing and reconsideration in light of this new judgment.

The Eskay Creek material is not included in Skeena’s resource or reserve statements for Eskay Creek, nor has it been factored into any feasibility studies.

Last month, Skeena secured a $750 million financing package for the Eskay Creek mine redevelopment. The mine, located in the province’s famed Golden Triangle, operated as an underground mine from 1994 to 2008.

With the package, the Eskay Creek project is now fully funded. Open-pit production is targeted for the first half of 2027. Annual production will be 320,000 oz. of gold-equivalent during a 12-year mine life.

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