Pretium sees no delay to Canada gold project from mine spill

Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:30am EDT
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By Nicole Mordant

DENVER (Reuters) - Pretium Resources Inc does not expect any delays in regulatory approvals for a gold mine it wants to build in British Columbia despite a massive waste spill at another company's project in the Western Canadian province, the small Canadian miner's chief executive officer said.

Pretium, whose Brucejack project is one of the highest-grade gold finds of recent times, still expects a go-ahead decision from the provincial and federal governments in the first quarter of 2015, CEO Robert Quartermain said on Tuesday.

"We don't see any impediments or delays in that regard," Quartermain told Reuters at the Denver Gold Forum, an annual industry conference.

While he expects regulatory scrutiny, he said, "we believe the science behind what we are intending to do here will show it is the best alternative."

Last month, billions of gallons of sludge containing metals and minerals coursed into waterways after a breach of a dam holding back a huge pond of tailings, or waste materials, at Imperial Metals Corp's Mount Polley mine in British Columbia.

The cause of the breach at the copper and gold mine is under investigation.

The provincial government has ordered an independent review of all tailings ponds at every permitted mine in the famously "green" province. Some industry analysts have said the spill could delay or even derail mining projects located there.

"Although we place a high probability on permitting success, the recent tailings failure at Mount Polley is likely to remain an overhang," RBC Capital Markets analyst Dan Rollins said in a Sept. 3 research note.   Continued...