VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says a proposed copper and gold mine on a First Nation’s territory will not be given an environmental assessment certificate, citing potential risks to water quality and fish. 

In a news release, the government said Monday it has rejected the open-pit copper, gold and molybdenum Morrison mine on the territory of the Lake Babine Nation, which was expected to produce 30,000 tonnes of ore per day over a 21-year period.   

Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. had applied for environmental assessment certificates in 2010 and 2012, which were also denied.

The release says the mine could affect “a unique wild sockeye salmon population” that contributes to the Skeena River. 

It says there was insufficient data about damages to Morrison Lake, and the potential long-term effects and liability for the province were not acceptable.

Morrison Lake produces the second-largest number of sockeye salmon in B.C., and is at the headwaters of the Skeena River.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2022.

The Canadian Press