Wells Mayor Ed Coleman says a meeting is scheduled for next week to go over the impacts of the temporary closure of the Bonanza Ledge mine that was announced on Wednesday (June 16)
He says that meeting will include Emily Colombo, who is the province’s Economic Development Officer for the region.
“She has leverage for community impacts. She’ll look at the impacts and then we can fire up some short term community impact supports. They’re already working with Worksafe BC to understand what the local employment impact is in the short term. But in addition to that they’re looking at the short term impacts of this particular curtailment decision.”
Coleman says Barkerville Gold Mines and the City of Quesnel will also be represented at that meeting.
He says the main impact will be on employees.
“It’s more the worker families. Bonanza Ledge has mainly been contracting firms out of Quebec, but there are impacts on some families. So we’ll monitor that closely to see what supports Worksafe BC can provide. There will be a larger group from Quesnel because there are more people from Quesnel that work at Kinross, so once that has to suspend processing the ore then there will be a lag time for that group.”
Osisko Development has said that as many as 85 employees will be impacted.
The company also said however, that the hope is that once they get a permit for the Cariboo Gold project that many of the impacted employees could be welcomed back.
For the District, Coleman says there will be a short term adjustment while the focus changes to the approval of the bigger Cariboo Gold Project.
“Ya it’s a short term adjustment which is a risk factor with these types of projects. But the bottom line is whether they get the environmental certificate or not. It definitely looks optimistic, but until you get that final decision from government, from the Minister of Mines and Energy, you’re still in that limbo phase.”
Coleman says they hope to get a decision in October or November.
He says the company will then just be codependent on the world economy on some of the costs for key items that they need to build this billion dollar plus project.