OTTAWA — The federal Ministry of Environment and Climate Change has announced the cabinet’s decision to approve the Akasaba West Copper-Gold Mining Project, following an environmental assessment.
The project, proposed by Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, is to construct, operate and decommission an open-pit copper and gold mine, located 15 kilometres east of Val-d’Or, Que., noted a recent media statement.
Agnico Eagle said Akasaba West currently has probable gold reserves of approximately 145,000 ounces and an indicated gold resource of approximately 49,000 ounces as of Dec. 31, 2017.
Start-up is projected in 2020 and the mine is expected to be in operation for up to eight years.
The Environmental Assessment Decision Statement establishes a total of 101 legally binding conditions to mitigate the effects of the project on the environment, the statement indicated.
The proponent will be required to consult with affected First Nations on the implementation of the conditions, which include measures to protect human health, fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, and the use of lands and resources by Indigenous people, including the woodland caribou herd of Val-d’Or whose numbers have declined significantly in recent years.
The proponent will undertake progressive reclamation of the project’s roads to reduce habitat disturbance, manage noise and light to limit disturbance to caribou, and conserve and restore four times the amount of caribou habitat as will be disturbed by the mine, explained the statement.