The provincial government has signed off on a Saskatoon mining company’s plan to build a diamond mine east of Prince Albert, ending what is believed to be the longest environmental approval process in Saskatchewan history.
The announcement is sure to please Star Diamond Corp. and its investors, many of whom have sunk their savings into the project only to grow increasingly frustrated by delays, a lack of information, and languishing share prices.
It is not, however, likely to please members of nearby James Smith Cree Nation. A consultant hired to speak for the First Nation told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix earlier this month that Star Diamond’s environmental plan was “hopelessly flawed.”
In a statement on Thursday, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said the $1.4-billion twin-open-pit diamond mine proposal has met government requirements that developments only proceed after “appropriate environmental safeguards” are in place.
“I am confident this project has met these requirements and the conditions of approval will mitigate environmental and community impacts,” Duncan said more than four years after the company submitted its final environmental impact statement.
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