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Mining company to address public concerns on open pit mine near Rossland

WHY Resources invites residents to open house at Prestige Inn in Rossland May 17 and 18
Rossland residents are invited to an open house to bring concerns regarding proposed open pit mine on Record Ridge and its impact on recreation and wildlife. Photo: Jim Bailey

Rossland residents are invited to weigh in on the Record Ridge mining project May 17 and 18 at an open house in the Prestige Inn.

Public consultation is a necessary component of the West High Yield (WHY) Resources development process for the proposed open pit mine located 10-km south of Rossland.

The project raises a number of red flags for residents of all Greater Trail municipalities concerning the mine’s potential impact on the environment, recreation, and the health and well-being of the community.

“This is unfortunate news for those of us who live on and enjoy the beauty of this land, which surrounds the proposed open pit mine,” said Rossland advocate Devon Palmer, a registered psychologist. “It is also unfortunate for the wildlife and ecosystem in this area.”

According to an April 5 update from WHY Resources, the company has submitted all material information, mine site engineering designs, and corresponding reports requested by the B.C. ministry of mines in response to questions and comments in July 2022, stemming from an amended permit application for Record Ridge Industrial Critical mineral mine.

WHY recently sent out a Request for Proposal, inviting mining contractors to bid on the mine site development and road construction with a deadline of June 30. WHY has already received engineering drawings for mine site development from SRK Consulting.

“The company has been diligent in addressing all requests from the ministry and remains vigilant in seeing the Record Ridge permit process through to completion,” said WHY CEO and president Frank Marasco Jr., in a release. “The company, in conjunction with the consultants, is working persistently to successfully complete the permit process as soon as possible.”

The mining company has promoted its mining processes as environmentally sound, its potential economic benefits, and low impacts on surrounding flora and fauna, however, for Palmer and many residents who contacted the Rossland News, a number of concerns remain.

“A mine proposal that has been in the pre-review stage for six years and in the preparation stage for over 15 years, doesn’t make it safer than a proposal that goes through the process quicker,” warned Palmer. “Checking the boxes in the pre-review stage also doesn’t make the project a positive industry for a community.”

The open house is an opportunity for the community to hear the plan, ask questions, receive answers, and decide whether they are okay with that kind of proposed activity in their backyard or not.

Below are some of the impacts Palmer included in an email to the Rossland News and would like residents to consider.

Recreation impacts: Rossland and surrounding area is world renowned for its skiing and mountain biking trails. The city has become a tourist destination, and businesses and visitors settle in Rossland for its nature and serenity.

The open pit mine site is located alongside Seven Summits Trail and the Dewdney Trail so summer and winter recreational users will be impacted.

How will all potential riders or hikers be made aware of blasting during spring-summer months?

Will the trail have to be moved?

In the winter, ski touring and snowshoeing around the southern portion of Record Ridge may be compromised, even if the mine shuts down for the winter months.

Increased heavy truck traffic on the highway will compromise bikers and other travelers to drop zones and pick up zones.

Environmental impacts: Open pit mines require considerable amounts of water to wash the mined rock during crushing. Once the water runs through this process it cannot be returned to the creek beds or natural waterways due to acidity and other minerals it picks up.

Is there a discharge plan? Is there a water tailings plan? How will the proponent keep the watershed protected?

Open pits mines create waste rock which leaches for years.

Where will waste rock be stored? How will the rock tailings be stored to avoid polluting water ways? How will the watershed be protected? Is there a perpetuity plan in place, and if so, what does that look like?

There will be increased dust and noise pollution from the blasting, crushing, hauling activity. This may affect some more than others.

What are the plans for mitigating dust and noise pollution from the mine? How will this be addressed for the Rossland and Paterson residents?

How is the local grasslands and ecosystem being protected? How are the local wildlife being considered?

Are the local Sinixt or other local Indigenous peoples fully aware of the mine proposal and its environmental impact?

Palmer says there has been asbestos found in the rock samples reviewed by the committee and will require additional examination.

Open houses are set for Wednesday, May 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday, May 18, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Rossland Prestige Inn.

Ministry representatives are expected to be at the May 17 meeting so residents are encouraged to attend.

For more info, residents can read the technical report on the WHY website at:

Read: Mayor concerned about open pit mine proposal near Rossland

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Jim Bailey

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