Provincial decision looms for Cariboo Gold Mine at edge of Wells, B.C. – by David P. Ball (CBC News British Columbia – October 9, 2023)

Residents divided over plans for large mine building at edge of their 220-resident community

The tiny community of Wells, B.C., will soon learn if it will be home to a new gold mine — one that’s divided the historic gold-rush district of just 220 residents. After it passed its environmental review last month, the proposed $588-million Cariboo Gold Mine is awaiting a final decision from provincial cabinet ministers, who have until Wednesday to say yes or no.

Particularly divisive has been Osisko Development’s plan to build a 36-metre-high, 200-metre-long mining building at the southern entrance of the community, within municipal limits.

“There have been a few friends lost,” said Gabe Fourchalk, Wells’ former mayor and an equipment contractor for the mining firm. “With change, there comes a little bit of fear … some people are worried. “In a small town, everybody is so, so close-knit.”

Located roughly 100 kilometres southeast of Prince George, the community is best known for Barkerville Historic Town and Park, a gold mining museum and National Historic Site.

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