Steelhead LNG says its two Vancouver Island export licences have been approved — just weeks after the company and the Malahat First Nation announced a proposed liquefied natural gas project north of Victoria, B.C.

Steelhead says the National Energy Board has approved a 25-year licence for the annual export of up to six million tonnes of LNG from a proposed floating liquefaction and export terminal in Saanich Inlet.

The Vancouver-based company says the board has approved four other 25-year licences to export LNG from a project that is still in the exploration stage with a First Nation southwest of Port Alberni, B.C.

Steelhead CEO Nigel Kuzemko says there is still a great deal of work to ensure community, government and regulatory support and approval for both projects.

Malahat First Nation CEO Lawrence Lewis says the agreement with Steelhead to develop the floating LNG plant near Victoria is a chance to protect aboriginal rights while practicing environmental stewardship.

Earlier this year, Steelhead LNG announced it was also partnering with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations to build a proposed LNG facility at Sarita Bay on Vancouver Island.

The project is still in the feasibility stage.