Osisko establishes technical committee for Gaspe dewatering plan

28th February 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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Exploration and development company Osisko Metals has created a technical consultation committee to assist in developing a plan for the dewatering of the Mount Copper openpit at Gaspé Copper, in Quebec.

The committee is led by Osisko Metals’ newly-hired VP for environment and sustainable development, Dr Ann Lamontagne.

Since closure and remediation of the former Gaspé Copper mine site, the Mount Copper openpit has flooded. In order to evaluate the viability of restarting openpit mining operations at Gaspé Copper, the pit must be dewatered as soon as possible to allow for improved deeper in-pit resource evaluation and geotechnical drilling.

Following ongoing environmental and engineering studies, Osisko Metals will elaborate a plan in collaboration with the committee and will then go through the necessary steps to obtain permits from government authorities.

Lamontagne will be responsible for all aspects of environmental monitoring and impact studies that will be the first step towards permitting for the Gaspé Copper project. Her first mandate will be to develop a sound plan for dewatering of the Mount Copper pit, while ensuring that excess water discharged into the environment will not affect the human communities and fish habitat in downstream waterways.

This plan will build upon environmental studies, notably on fish and fish habitat as well as riparian vegetation, that were conducted in the fall of 2023.

A geomorphological study was also carried out in 2023 to characterize stream banks and flow beds to identify erosion-sensitive areas and validate that the addition of water will not promote bank erosion.

Finally, water quality analyses have been completed at the Mount Copper pit and results indicate that the water meets environmental criteria for safe discharge. Additional water quality analyses at several strategic downstream locations will also ensure that dewatering will be carried out without impacting fish and fish habitat.

Osisko Metals states that the York river, located about 3 km downstream from the site, is an important salmon river and that this resource must be protected.

“We are committed to developing the Gaspé Copper project in collaboration with all stakeholders in the region, while meeting the highest standards of environmental management. We are very pleased that Dr Ann Lamontagne is joining the Osisko Metals team and her expertise will significantly assist the company in achieving those goals.

“With the global demand for copper set to increase dramatically in the coming decade, the time is now to advance a project such as Gaspé Copper towards production. We are pleased that the community response to the project has been positive and collaborative so far, and we believe that the dewatering committee is an important initiative towards devising a plan that brings more environmental professionals to the table and takes stakeholders’ concerns into consideration,” comments Osisko Metals chairperson and CEO Robert Wares.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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