The Supreme Court of British Columbia issued a ruling late on Monday on a challenge by Pacific Booker Minerals Inc. (NYSEMKT: PBM) to an earlier ruling by the provincial government that denied the mining company an environmental permit to proceed with a new copper and gold mining project. The court has ruled that the government’s ruling “failed to comport with the requirements of procedural fairness” and has ordered the government to reconsider Pacific Booker’s petition.
In October 2012, the B.C. government denied Pacific Booker’s petition, citing potential damage to the salmon population of the Skeena River. Pacific Booker had proposed a new mining project at a lake that is home to a genetically unique species of salmon, expecting to mine 30,000 tons of copper and gold ore every day for a period of 21 years. In addition to the digging, the project would have included a processing plant, sewage and wastewater management facilities, explosives and fuel storage facilities and a tailings storage facility.
The government’s decision last year sent Pacific Booker’s shares down nearly 70%. That ruling was only the second time that the government had ruled in favor of salmon over miners. The company’s Morrison Copper/Gold Mine is a major reserve of copper and gold, with an estimated recoverable total of 1.37 billion pounds of copper and nearly 659,000 ounces of gold.
Monday night’s ruling had the stock soaring Tuesday, up 69% at $6.59, in a 52-week range of $1.71 to $8.20. The high was set Tuesday morning. Before the October 2012 ruling, the stock had been trading over $14 a share.