Western Copper and Gold Corporation (WCGC) is proposing to develop the Casino Project, an open pit copper-gold-molybdenum-silver mine in west-central Yukon about 300 km northwest of Whitehorse. The mine is anticipated to process 120,000 t/d or 43.9 million t/y of material over 22 years of full production.
WCGC’s recent (January 2014) submission of the Casino Project Proposal to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is the largest project proposal ever received by YESAB. Palmer Environmental Consulting Group Inc. (PECG) played a critical role in the preparation and submission of this proposal.
Since its inception in 2010, PECG has been involved in both the management and delivery of technical environmental services for the Casino Project. Familiarity with the Casino Project began in 2008 for many of PECG’s staff, who helped WCGC assemble a team of industry-leading environmental professionals, in addition to leading the Aquatics Programs. PECG’s in-house expertise in fisheries science, water quality, geomorphology and hydrogeology, combined with its experience and reputation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), provided a basis for completing defensible baseline programs, aquatic effects assessments, fish habitat compensation (offsetting) plans and conceptual Environmental Management Plans. PECG’s long-standing involvement in the Casino Project has resulted in increased levels of responsibility in the management team, including monthly budget management of subconsultants and participation in regular engagement and consultation initiatives with local government, communities and Selkirk First Nation, on whose traditional territory the project is proposed.
PECG continues to be heavily involved with the project, through responses to requests for information from regulatory agencies, leadership in First Nations consultation in aquatic workshops, and guidance on critical next steps in the assessment process.