Lake Babine Nation is celebrating the Province’s second rejection of the proposed Morrison Mine project, which follows Pacific Booker Minerals’ failure to develop the further information required under the Province’s 2015 Further Assessment Order.
Lake Babine Nation steadfastly opposed the proposed Morrison Mine because it would have been built on the Nation’s core Aboriginal title lands, right beside vital Skeena talok (sockeye salmon) spawning grounds. The Mine would have threatened Lake Babine’s yintah (territory and natural resources), food security, and cultural security.
Morrison Mine would have involved an open pit mine beside T’akh Tl’ah Bin (Morrison Lake). T’akh Tl’ah Bin provides extremely productive talok habitat, and Morrison/Talho Conservation Unit talok are classified as “amber”, meaning they are vulnerable. The Mine’s open pit would have been located less than 100 metres from T’akh Tl’ah Bin. The pit would have permanently stored potentially acid-generating rock. A water treatment facility would have discharged the mining effluent into T’akh Tl’ah Bin in perpetuity.
Going forward, Lake Babine Nation and the Province will work closely together to assess resource development projects proposed for the Nation’s Territory pursuant to their 2021 Environmental Assessment Collaboration Agreement. This Agreement is first under section 41 of BC’s Environmental Assessment Act. It sets out Lake Babine’s decision-making criteria for projects and it establishes shared expectations for how proponents seeking an EA Certificate for a project in Lake Babine Territory should engage with Lake Babine. The Agreement also requires consensus-seeking between Lake Babine and BC at the key points in the EA process.
Councillor Verna Power, Lake Babine Nation: “Lake Babine Nation is not against mining, and I worked in mines for years before becoming a Councillor. Our Nation rejected Morrison Mine because it was a fundamentally flawed project. It threatened our talok (sockeye salmon), the most precious resource in our Territory. Talok define us as Lake Babine people. We cannot support any project that threatens our yintah (territory and natural resources) and our future as a people, so it is a huge relief that this Project is finally dead.”
Chief Murphy Abraham, Lake Babine Nation: “Thanks to our new EA Collaboration Agreement with BC, Lake Babine will be deeply involved in reviewing proposed mines in our Territory from now on. Proponents who want to build a mine in our Territory need to get to know our people, our values, and our expectations. They need to work with us respectfully and develop projects that are sustainable for our yintah, our rights and our way of life.”
Information on Lake Babine – BC EA Collaboration Agreement here.
Media inquiries: Dominique Nouvet, (250) 889-0472