Western Copper is appealing the Yukon Territorial Water Board’s decision to deny the water use application for its Carmacks Copper Mine.
The water board released its 42-page decision document last month, effectively halting development at the mine.
Western Copper’s appeal, filed on Friday, challenges the water board’s jurisdiction and responsibilities.
The project was previously approved by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and had received its quartz mining licence from the Yukon government.
The appeal declares the water board is required to implement the government’s decision document, which accepted the recommendation of the assessment board that the project be allowed to proceed.
The water board must not grant rights contrary to the decision document and not set terms that conflict with it, Western Copper said in its appeal.
The corporation is requesting that all of these conflicts be removed and the remaining parts go back to the water board for reconsideration.
The water board’s main concerns involved the technique known as acid heap leaching, which Carmacks Copper would use to extract the copper.
Thousands of tonnes of copper ore would be pushed into piles, some as high as a 30-storey building, and then doused with sulfuric acid.
The acid dissolves the copper, which can then be collected from a rubber liner below.
The board was concerned the technology is unproven and poses risks to the environment.
There were also doubts the mine could detoxify the heap and manage discharges from the site.
The water board also disagreed with the mine’s proposed water quality and effluent standards.
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