In September 2011, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark laid out an agenda to spur job creation in the province. As part of her plan, she promised 17 new or expanded mines in BC by 2015. However, a recent decision to refuse an environmental permit to Pacific Booker Minerals’ (TSXV:BKM,AMEX:PBM) Morrison copper-gold-molybdenum project has raised questions about whether BC’s environmental standards are becoming stricter when it comes to approving new mines.
The refusal is only the second time in BC history that a project has been denied through the environmental assessment process. The other occurrence was the Kemess copper-gold project in 2007.
“No, I don’t think so,” said the province’s environment minister, Terry Lake, in a December 19 phone interview. “It’s important to understand that the environmental assessment is made by both the mining and environment ministries. In the Morrison case, both of us agreed that this was the correct decision.”