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Blackwater gold project expands mine water treatment plans

Location-map---newgold.com
The Blackwater Gold Mine planned for south of Vanderhoof is making changes to its proposal so it can manage mine water and tailings better.

Project Manager Tim Bekhuys says they will adding a water treatment plant to the facility, “that allows for greater recycling and greater control of the water, that was recommended directly from the Mount Polley independent review panel.”

The plant will also allow the mine to discharge excess water into Davidson Creek during times of high runoff.

That review panel made a series of recommendations near the start of 2015 in the wake of the catastrophic tailings pond breach at the mine in Likely. Bekhuys says suggestions made by the Working Group and Environmental Assessment Office made it clear the addition of the water treatment plan would be worth the investment.

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The plant will also allow the mine to discharge excess water into Davidson Creek during times of high runoff.

Bekhuys says they’ve also “made the mine smaller by eliminating one of the waste rock dumps, this is essence creates a smaller footprint and smaller impact overall.”

The changes have resulted in the temporary suspension of the province’s environmental assessment process, so the environmental office can engage impacted aboriginal groups and other stakeholders.

“This really reflects the true purposes of an environmental assessment process, which is to listen to the comments and to make changes and ultimately have a better project.” Bekhuys said noting that the overall project timeline remains unchanged.

Shovels should be in the ground at the end of next year.

The proposed open pit gold/silver mine will provide 1500 construction jobs and 500-600 permanent jobs over the 17 year life of the mine.

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