Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. (TSXV:BKM,NYSE:PBM) is in the British Columbia Supreme Court challenging a decision made by the provincial government on October 1, 2012 to turn down its proposed Morrison Copper/Gold Mine. The Company believes the government erred in overlooking conclusions in their own assessment report (dated August 21, 2012), and court proceedings are expected to be completed by the end of this week, with a decision to follow at a later time.
As quoted in the press release:
The Company believes the government erred in overlooking conclusions in their own 206-page comprehensive assessment report dated August 21, 2012. That report, which represented the culmination of an environmental assessment process that lasted almost 10 years and cost the Company approximately $10 million, stated that, based upon successful implementation of mitigation measures and legally-binding conditions, the Environmental Assessment Office “is satisfied that the proposed Project is not likely to have significant adverse effects.”
The comprehensive assessment report also concluded that the First Nations consultation process was “carried out in good faith,” was “appropriate and reasonable in the circumstances,” and was sufficient to “maintain the honour of the Crown.”
In an unprecedented and surprising move, the Executive Director of the Environmental Assessment Office rejected the conclusions of his office’s comprehensive assessment report and recommended that the Morrison Copper/Gold Mine not be approved, a recommendation the government regrettably adopted. The Executive Director’s recommendation was based in part on a new “risk versus benefit” test introduced after the assessment report was completed, and which the Company was not given any opportunity to address. This test was not included in the Terms of Reference established for the environmental assessment, was not applied previously to other projects and has not been consistently applied since the negative decision regarding the Morrison Copper/Gold Mine project. The Company believes this fails to meet the requirements of procedural fairness.