Report Questions Economic Feasibility of Proposed British Columbia Mine

A new report released this morning takes aim at a proposed
mine in northwest British Columbia, contending that it faces mounting economic
and political challenges. The analysis of Seabridge Gold’s
Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell mine was written by the environmental organization
Earthworks and Salmon Beyond Borders, a coalition of Alaska Native tribal
members and commercial, sport and subsistence fishermen. They are concerned
that the KSM mine would have a severely adverse impact on salmon habitat in
nearby trans-boundary rivers flowing into Southeast Alaska.
The report (
points to “Mine 2015: The gloves are off,” a lengthy annual review of global
trends in mining by Price Waterhouse Coopers ( , and contends that
Seabridge’s economic feasibility analysis is based on unrealistic metal prices.
According to the analysis, KSM’s low-grade deposit, remote location and lack of
infrastructure make the economics problematic. The PWC report itself speaks
only to the top 40 global mining firms, saying the general outlook for the
global metals and mining market remains subdued due to the combination of a
slower rate of global economic growth., particularly in emerging markets.
Seabridge Gold, a junior mining company, will hold its annual shareholders meeting on June 24 in Toronto.
The analysis is critical of what it describes as discredited
mine waste tailings dam technology. It says KSM’s plan to leave submerged
tailings after mine closure conflicts with the disaster review panel’s
recommendations after the Mount Polley tailings dam disaster in British
Columbia. And because KSM is a sulfide ore body, it is likely to require water
treatment in perpetuity for acid mine drainage, the analysis said.

The analysis also notes political opposition to the KSM
mine, with Alaska’s congressional delegation raising concerns and asking
Secretary of State John Kerry to conduct bilateral discussions with the
Canadian government, in the wake of the Mount Polley mine disaster.