The village of Stanley, N.B., is one step closer to getting a massive tungsten mine.

Vancouver-based Northcliff Resources submitted its environmental-impact assessment to the federal government. It wants to start an open-pit tungsten mine in Stanley. The mine could employ hundreds of residents.

Northcliff’s Greg Davidson said the company has done the ground work and the public has nothing to fear.

"I certainly identify the concerns we’ve heard over the past couple of years. We’ve implemented mitigation strategies to minimize any impacts," he said.

Northcliff expects to create 500 jobs during the construction phase — that's more than the population of Stanley.

It anticipates 300 jobs during the 27-year operation.

Environmental concerns

Some residents worry about potential negative environmental impacts.

Lawrence Wuest said it will be bad for the area, located 30 kilometres north of Fredericton.

"The mine will contaminate the Nashwaak watershed, which is a very high quality watershed and deserves protection. The citizens of the Nashwaak Valley deserve a say in whether this mine will go ahead or not," he said.

Wuest questioned what would happen if the mine closed before it had the money to clean everything up.

"I think we've done enough work to show that the government better pay attention to this aspect of the cleanup, or they're going to leave themselves liable for a huge bill in the future," he said.

Good jobs

Others saw value in the jobs.

"I think the environment is extremely important and the studies need to be done, but we also need to have jobs for the young people in this community so they don't all have to go out west to find work," said resident Nancy Everett.

Northcliff Resources said it has done extensive research and that the public will get full disclosure as the mine proceeds.

The federal government must first rule on the environmental assessment. It will then go to New Brunswick’s technical review committee, after which it will become public.