Company News Releases...
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. Announces BC Supreme Court Sets Aside
Negative Government Decision
Vancouver BC, December 11, 2013: The Company is pleased to provide more
information about its successful effort to set aside the decision made last year
not to issue an Environmental Assessment Certificate (“EAC”) for its proposed
Morrison Copper/Gold Mine.
The court hearing took place in the Supreme Court of British Columbia from
August 7 to 9, 2013 in Vancouver, and a 55 page written decision was released on
December 9, 2013.
In his decision, Justice Affleck found the administrative process which was
followed, including the decision of the previous Minister of Environment and the
previous Minister of Energy & Mines, “failed to comport with the requirements of
procedural fairness”. In reaching this conclusion, Justice Affleck rejected
arguments by the government’s lawyer that common law rules of procedural
fairness do not apply to the environmental assessment process.
The Court ordered that the Ministers’ decision be quashed and set aside, and
ordered that the Company’s application for an environmental certificate be
remitted to the current Ministers for reconsideration. This time, the Company
and interveners will be entitled to be provided with a copy of the
recommendations, if any, sent to the Ministers and will be entitled to provide
written response to the recommendations in advance of a further decision.
The Company spent almost 10 years, and approximately $10 million, working its
way through the environmental assessment process. Environmental Assessment
Office (EAO) completed a 206-page comprehensive assessment report in August,
2012 and concluded that based upon successful implementation of mitigation
measures and legally-binding conditions, the EAO is satisfied that no direct or
indirect significant adverse effects are predicted or expected from the proposed
Project. The report also concluded that the First Nations consultation process
was “carried out in good faith,” was “appropriate and reasonable in the
circumstances,” and was sufficient to “maintain the honour of the Crown.”
In addition, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) produced a
draft Comprehensive Study Report (CSR) that also concluded that the proposed
Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The CEAA draft CSR, September 2012, concluded that: “The environmental effects
of the Project have been determined using assessment methods and analytical
tools that reflect the current best practices of impact assessment
practitioners. As a result of incremental changes to the project design and
additional mitigation measures and commitments applied to the Project throughout
the comprehensive study process, the Agency concludes that the proposed project
can be constructed, operated, maintained, and decommissioned without significant
adverse effects, including consideration of cumulative effects. No significant
adverse biological, physical, or human health effects are predicted. Any
residual effects are predicted to be of low magnitude, moderate duration,
localized in geographic extent, and reversible over the long term following
decommissioning. Taking into account the above, including proposed mitigation
measures and proponent commitments; the Agency concludes that the Project is not
likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.”
Following the October 1, 2012 rejection of the environmental certificate, the
Company lost approximately $140 million in market capitalization.
The current Minister of Energy & Mines, the Honourable Bill Bennett, was
reported last month as saying he hopes the Federal government will reverse its
previous rejection of the proposed Prosperity Mine near Williams Lake (another
copper/gold mine project), even though the review process for that project
concluded there would likely be significant adverse environmental effects. In
contrast and as already noted, the review of the Morrison Copper/Gold Mine
proposal concluded there would likely be no significant adverse effects from
If approved, the Morrison Copper/Gold Mine could help support Premier Christy
Clark’s “BC Jobs Plan” by providing more than 1,100 jobs during two years of
construction, plus 251 direct jobs and another 350 indirect jobs during the 21
years of anticipated operation of the mine. Federal, provincial and municipal
governments stand to receive $71.6 million in various taxes and fees during the
construction phase, in addition to a total of approximately $245.7 million
during the operating phase of the project. The total tax revenue from
construction and operations is $317.3 million in federal, provincial and
municipal taxes. This does not include the Provincial Mineral Tax calculation.
The Company looks forward to working with the BC Government and First Nations to
bring the mine into production, providing employment and training opportunities
for residents of northwestern BC while successfully implementing the numerous
mitigation measures that the company is committed to.
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On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Erik Tornquist, Director