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Red Chris Porphyry Copper-Gold Mine fined $25,000 for non-compliance

Press Release

Dec. 19, 2023

VICTORIA – The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) issued an administrative penalty totalling $25,000 to Newmont Corporation (formerly Newcrest Red Chris Mining Limited) on Dec. 18, 2023.

The company was fined for not complying with an order in 2019 for Newcrest Red Chris Mining Limited to install and electrify fencing around the full perimeter of the workcamp for its Red Chris Porphyry Copper-Gold Mine in northeastern B.C., as required.

Electric fencing helps prevent dangerous interactions between people and wildlife, specifically in this case, grizzly bears, a blue-listed species of special concern in British Columbia. Project records show frequent grizzly bear activity in the area and at least two instances of problematic human/bear interactions in or around the camp.

Multiple inspections of the project by EAO compliance and enforcement officers, going back as far as 2018, found repeated non-compliance with fencing requirements, including incomplete, not electrified or not operational fencing. The EAO has issued multiple warnings and orders.

The deficiencies were rectified after the EAO ordered Newcrest again in July 2023 to have functioning electric fencing in place around the entire workcamp perimeter within 30 days or the workcamp would be shut down. An additional administrative penalty has been recommended related to the ongoing non-compliance and subsequent 2023 order, but a decision is still pending.

While urgent issues identified during inspections that pose an immediate risk are addressed right away through enforcement tools such as warnings and stop-work orders, project operators may also be subsequently subject to financial penalties.

The EAO takes compliance seriously. When a project receives an environmental assessment certificate, it contains legally binding requirements that must be followed for the life of the project. These requirements are intended to prevent negative environmental, social, cultural, health or economic impacts and impacts to First Nations.

As a neutral regulator, the EAO has a team of compliance and enforcement officers who monitor all certified projects, conducting both routine and spot inspections and taking enforcement action as necessary. This helps ensure that projects are built, operated and decommissioned in compliance with all requirements.

The EAO continues to actively monitor the Red Chris mine to make sure all requirements are being met.

Quick Facts:

  • The Red Chris Porphyry Copper-Gold Mine is located 18 kilometres southeast of the Village of Iskut and approximately 80 kilometres south of Dease Lake.
  • Newmont Corporation acquired Newcrest Red Chris Mining Limited in November 2023.
  • The project received an environmental assessment certificate in 2005, one of the key authorizations required to build and operate the mine.
  • The approval included a requirement to implement specific measures to prevent or reduce the potential for adverse impacts to bears at the site.
  • Project construction began in 2012 and the mine opened and began extracting ore in 2015.

Learn More:

For information about the administrative penalty, go to:
https://www.projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/p/588510c4aaecd9001b8155e3/documents?keywords=RCDC-EF-2023&sortBy=-score&currentPage=1

For information about the Red Chris Porphyry Copper-Gold Mine project, go to: https://projects.eao.gov.bc.ca/projects-list and search “Red Chris”

For more information about the environmental assessment process, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/natural-resource-stewardship/environmental-assessments/the-environmental-assessment-process

Contact:

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Media Relations
on behalf of the
Environmental Assessment Office
250 953-3834

IBF4

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