Ministers’ decision to stop $2.5-billion project failed test of ‘procedural fairness,’ judge says
VANCOUVER — Prospects for a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine in northern B.C. improved this week after a B.C. Supreme Court justice turfed a previous decision by two senior provincial government ministers to reject the project.
Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. asked the B.C. Supreme Court in April to overturn Environment Minister Terry Lake and Energy, Mines and Natural Gas Minister Rich Coleman’s rejection last September of its $2.5-billion mining project, located 65 km north of Smithers at Morrison Lake. In a decision released Monday, Justice Kenneth Affleck set aside the ministers’ decision, raising the possibility the mine could yet proceed.
“(The) ministers’ decision refusing to issue the certificate failed to comport with the requirements of procedural fairness,” wrote Affleck in his decision, which awarded costs to the company.