Mount Milligan responds regarding ammendments to EAC

Mt. Milligan responds to questions regarding their application to amend their environmental assessment certificate.

Thompson Creek Metals said the company is not looking to house their entire operational staff on site.

The clarification of some of their application to amend their environmental assessment certificate (EAC) came after the article in the May 16 issue of the Caledonia Courier went to press.

While the original plan for a permanent camp said the company would like to apply to have a 300-person camp on site at Mount Milligan, the actual EAC amendment has asked for a 450-person camp instead.

“It was our original intention that we would have accommodation for about 300 of the workforce, what we’re also asking for is the capacity to accommodate contractors, maintenance personnel, visitors from other sites, temporary employees,” said Jocelyn Fraser, director of corporate responsibility for Thompson Creek Metals.

“We want to make sure that we have capacity to accommodate the full gamut of people who could be on site.”

The amendment application also asks to change the location of the load-out facility in the original application from Fort St. James to Mackenzie.

The original plan was approved to build a rail load-out facility in the industrial area on the Tachie Road to ship out the metal concentrate after it was brought down in trucks from the mine.

Thompson Creek now says they would prefer to use Mackenzie as the location for the load-out because the connector road has been upgraded to accommodate the concentrate trucks since the original application, and there would be no use of public roads to ship the material out from Mackenzie, only forestry roads.

In addition, there is a Kemess loud-out Thompson Creek may be able to negotiate a lease on instead of having to construct their own initially.

The change is not a desire to avoid working with Fort St. James, according to Fraser.

“Currently we have offices in both Mackenzie and Fort St. James, and currently most of the employees out of the Fort St. James office live in the community of Fort St. James,” she said.

There are 19 personnel working out of the Fort St. James office, and 22 out of Mackenzie.

The application Thompson Creek has submitted to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) does include a proposed process, but Fraser said the company is waiting for the BCEAO to define the review process and key dates.

There are concerns from the District of Fort St. James and Nak’azdli the time frame for comments on the proposed amendments was far too short, but the district was given an extension on their time to comment on the application.

“The key thing for us is we’re looking to (be operational) in the third quarter of 2013,” said Fraser.  “So every decision for us related to project planning backs up from that commissioning date.”

She also said the permission to build an operational camp is a matter of importance while they are trying to hire for over 100 positions.

“So to help us meet that recruitment drive, we’re hoping for some clarity around the kind of options that are going to be available to people,” she said.

Fraser remains optimistic about the opportunities an operational camp could provide for the surrounding communities in terms of service jobs.

Fraser will be presenting at the next council meeting in Fort St. James on May 23 at 7 p.m..