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Tahltan, Seabridge reach milestone pact

 

Last updated 6/21/2019 at 5:39am

Seabridge Gold Inc.

Logging core from 2018 drilling at KSM, a program that continued to grow an already substantial gold-copper resource at this advanced stage project in the Tahltan Territory.

The Tahltan Nation and Seabridge Gold Inc. June 10 announced they have negotiated the terms of a co-operation and benefits agreement in connection with the development of a mine at Seabridge's KSM gold-copper project located in northwestern British Columbia.

The Tahltan Nation's 95,933-square-kilometer (37,040 square miles) territory covers 70 percent of British Columbia's Golden Triangle - a world-class mining jurisdiction with a thriving mineral exploration sector. This region hosts three of B.C.'s 19 operating mines and is home to roughly 25 percent of the province exploration activities by expenditure, including the continued exploration being carried out at KSM.

In a ratification vote among its membership, the Tahltan Nation voted 77.8 percent in favor of the KSM Project Impact Benefits Agreement (IBA).

"The Tahltan people have spoken and have ratified the KSM IBA that provides the Tahltan Nation with far reaching economic benefits and strong commitments to the environmental management of the land that we hold sacred," said Tahltan Central Government President Chad Norman Day.

Seabridge said the ratification of this pact represents another important milestone for KSM and provides a thorough and co-operative framework for the parties to continue building the social license for the large and advance staged gold-copper project.

"The Tahltan approach to engagement and negotiations has been professional and collaborative from the very beginning. We believe that the KSM IBA provides the basis for a genuine partnership between the KSM Project and the Tahltan Nation for decades to come," said Seabridge Gold Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk.

A prefeasibility study completed in 2016 outlined a mine for KSM that would average 540,000 ounces of gold, 156 million pounds of copper, 2.2 million oz silver, and 1.2 million lb molybdenum annually over a mine life that spans more than five decades.

Since the completion of this study, however, Seabridge has substantially expanded the resources, which will likely expand the annual output, mine life, or both, when a new PFS or feasibility study is completed.

Seabridge has already received environmental assessment approvals from both the provincial and federal governments.

"The Tahltan Central Government has worked closely with Seabridge for more than a decade to bring the KSM project from its early exploration stage through permitting," said Day. "At each step of the way, Seabridge has been a respectful and willing partner to work with our people, communities and all levels of government to ensure our Tahltan environmental concerns and economic interests were properly addressed."

Fronk said that during this decade-long relationship, the Tahltan Nation has provided valuable insights that has helped to shape the plans for a mine at KSM.

"We have listened to their environmental, cultural and economic concerns, which have been rooted in the best interests of the Tahltan Nation, and we have crafted ways of addressing these concerns into KSM's design," said the Seabridge Gold CEO.

"From our perspective, our on-going relationship with the Tahltan Nation, which began more than a decade ago, captures the spirit of mutual respect, common goals and sensitivity to local interests that are needed in the development of major mining projects," he added.

–SHANE LASLEY

 

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