BC Explorer Blocked by First Nations Group, To Seek Legal Action

Pacific Booker Minerals (TSXV: BKM) has announced that their efforts to meet with the current leadership of the Lake Babine Nation (LBN) have been unsuccessful. The BC Environmental Assessment Office has informed Pacific Booker that any new application for their Morrison Project will not be considered without active support from the LBN, the indigenous group nearest to the project site.

The Morrison Project, which Pacific Booker has been developing since 1997, aims to mine copper, gold, and molybdenum. The firm has invested $43 million into the project, anticipating significant returns and job creation for the local area.

“If the project does not proceed, that investment will have been lost. Not only the initial investments but also the returns probable from the operation of a very attractive mining opportunity for most of the last decade and for more than another decade to come will have been lost. The local people, and others, have lost the opportunity for thousands of person-years of well paid employment and other related business opportunities as well,” John Plourde, one of the firm’s directors, argued.

In March 2012, Pacific Booker and LBN signed a memorandum of understanding, which stated that the LBN would support the project if environmental assessments showed no significant adverse effects on the LBN way of life, Plourde expanded. The BC Environmental Assessment Office’s final report concluded that with appropriate mitigation measures, the project would not significantly impact the environment. Despite this, PBM’s application for an Environmental Assessment Certificate was denied in 2012, quashed by the BC Supreme Court in 2013, and denied again by the Province in 2022.

“The company believes that it has exhausted all options with any chance of placing its wholly owned Morrison Project into production and is left with exploring all avenues of legal recourse against the Province and the Lake Babine Nation,” Plourde added.

Pacific Booker owns the Morrison property in Central British Columbia, 35 km north of the Village of Granisle. They have completed a feasibility study and a 43-101 compliant technical report, proposing an open-pit mining and milling operation for producing copper/gold/molybdenum concentrate. The Morrison deposit is located near two former copper mines, Bell and Granisle, just 29 km away.

The study outlines the design and financial viability of a conventional open-pit mine with a 30,000 tonnes per day mill. Key points include a mineable reserve of 224.25 million tonnes with an average grade of 0.330% copper, 0.163 g/t gold, and 0.004% molybdenum. The mine’s life is projected to be 21 years with a capital cost of $516.68 million, including a $59.92 million contingency.

The project forecasts an internal rate of return of 20.05% and a net present value of $495.9 million at an 8.0% discount rate. The capital payback period is estimated at 4.2 years, based on metal prices of $2.75 for copper, $658.32 for gold, and $29.23 for molybdenum. The operating cost is projected at $8.15 per tonne milled over the mine’s life.

The Morrison deposit benefits from existing infrastructure, including a deep-sea shipping terminal at the port of Stewart, B.C., a road network, nearby hydro-electric power, forestry camps for preproduction use, and the full-service town of Granisle within commuting distance.

Information for this story was found via Junior Mining Network and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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