A major mining project proposed for central New Brunswick has received federal environmental assessment approval.
The Sisson Mine project would see the development of an open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine as well as an ore processing facility.
“The steps fell into place rather methodically and the final piece was the federal cabinet this week to approve the environmental assessment and that’s why I’m here to announce today that the government of Canada has approved the project,” said Dominic LeBlanc the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
The $579 million project is expected to create 500 jobs during construction and 300 jobs over the 27-year life of the mine.
The provincial government estimates the project will result in $280 million in mineral royalties and $245 million in tax revenue over the life of the mine.
The mine site near Stanley sits on one of the largest deposit of tungsten in North America.
Chris Zahovskis, President and CEO of Northcliff Resources Ltd which co-owns the Sisson Partnership was happy at the news of the mines approval.
“Successful completion of the environmental assessment process is an important milestone in the development of the Sisson Mine,” he wrote in a press release.
Leblanc reflected on how important the mine will be for the area and the country.
“This will be the only tungsten mine in operation in North America,” said Leblanc “What is important is to get to the point where the environmental assessment was completed and the federal cabinet approved it.”
Lois Corbett, executive director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, wasn’t thrilled with federal government’s decision.
“I appreciate what Minister LeBlanc and Minister Docuet are saying about the economic potential and job creation impacts of this project,” said Corbett. “I remain to be convinced that those jobs created over the life of the project are equal in weight to the risk to the water.”
LeBlanc promised that the environment surrounding the mine would be continually monitored.
“But we will ensure that the government resources are there to monitor, to assess and to report to Canadians in a very transparent way,” said LeBlanc. “But frankly that’s something that the company wants to do with us and the province as well so it’s not a adversarial process, it’s a positive collaboration.”
— With files from Adrienne South, Global News
© 2017 The Canadian Press