TORONTO, CANADA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/01/13 -- Seabridge Gold (TSX: SEA)(NYSE: SA) announced today that it has commenced electronic filing of its provincial Application for an Environmental Assessment certificate ("Application") and its federal Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") for its 100% owned KSM gold-copper-silver project with the British Columbia and Canadian Governments. The filing process will be completed when Seabridge delivers printed copies of the 25,000 page document which are now being prepared. The Application/EIS submission addresses the initial requirements of the joint harmonized environmental assessment process as outlined by the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992).
Seabridge Chairman and CEO Rudi Fronk noted that, "The Application/EIS document represents nearly five years of effort and approximately $146 million in expenditures to design an environmentally sound and economically rewarding project. We are very proud of the work by our personnel and our first class team of consultants. We are confident that our Application/EIS materials demonstrate that the KSM project, as designed, is environmentally responsible as well as technically and economically feasible. We are also confident that the KSM project can make a significant contribution to the B.C. economy, by generating over 6,500 full time jobs and approximately $48 billion in total contribution to GDP during its more than 50 year expected mine life. We look forward to a timely and fair review of the Application/EIS submission and will continue to work cooperatively and closely with provincial and federal government agencies, Nisga'a Nation, Aboriginal groups, local governments and the public as the Application/EIS review proceeds."
The KSM Project is undergoing a joint environmental assessment as mandated by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (1992) and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Act. For the past several years, the Seabridge permitting team has initiated extensive community engagement with the Nisga'a Nation, Aboriginal groups, public and stakeholders to provide information on the project and obtain feedback. Components of this program have included site visits to operating and closed mines similar in size to KSM to highlight proposed project details, numerous site visits to the KSM project area, meetings with the Nisga'a Nation, Aboriginal and local government elected officials and public open houses. In addition, Seabridge has participated in a number of working group meetings with Canadian federal and provincial regulators, U.S. federal and Alaska State regulators and Aboriginal groups to review the project in detail as it has evolved. In general, public feedback on the project has been positive and input from this community engagement process has been used to make significant design changes to the project including:
-- Isolating and lining a portion of the proposed tailing management facility to contain the tailing that will result from the precious metals carbon leach circuit;-- Re-routing proposed access from Highway 37 to the proposed process facility and tailing management area to avoid potential impacts on fisheries;-- Relocating all discharges from the tailings management facility to protect sensitive fish habitats;-- Shifting from open pit to underground panel cave mining in the later years for the Mitchell deposit and also block caving the Iron Cap deposit. Underground mining is expected to reduce waste rock storage by more than two billion tonnes, resulting in significantly less potential environmental impact;-- Implementing a state of the art water treatment strategy to maximize environmental protection; and,-- Removing planned surface infrastructure associated with the Mitchell Treaty Tunnel and placing it underground to minimize surface disturbance and facilitate wildlife access.