The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office has completed its review of an application for the Ajax Mine south of Kamloops and handed it over to the provincial government for a final decision.
The provincial ministers of environment and mines have until January 4, 2018, to decide whether to issue an environmental assessment certificate or request further assessment.
The mine owner, KGHM Ajax Mining Inc., wants to develop a new open-pit copper and gold mine which could produce up to 24 million tonnes of ore per year over a 23-year lifetime.
If the ministers issue an environmental assessment certificate, it would include a project description that outlines the mine's components, activities and legally binding conditions that KGHM Ajax must follow.
"Whether people are for or against the mine, everyone wants to have some closure," said Kamloops city councillor Donovan Cavers, who opposes the mine.