The Department of Environment and Conservation is taking another month to review a proposal to build a mineral access road in the Big Triangle Pond area.
Late Thursday afternoon, a news release announced Environment Minister Joan Shea and the project’s proponent, Eagleridge International Ltd., had agreed to extend the review period for the environmental preview report to May 7.
The minister was originally due to render a decision on the proposal April 7.
The 11-kilometre road would allow the company to gain access to an exploration site where it hopes to find gold and copper. Eagleridge has been exploring that area on and off for the last 25 years.
Local cabin owners oppose the project on the grounds it will spoil their enjoyment of the wilderness and potentially harm the environment. Noise from the use of equipment and a negative impact on salmon populations in local rivers are also among their concerns.
A Facebook group called “Opponents of Big Triangle Pond Mineral Exploration Access Road” has attracted more than 300 members.
Eagleridge CEO Albert Chislett told The Telegram in March that building a road straight through the middle of land where his company holds exploration rights will have the lowest impact on the environment.
On the salmon issue, he said there are salmon rivers much larger in other parts of the province dealing with a great deal more motor vehicle traffic than what the proposed access road will handle. A plan is also in place to decommission and dismantle the road if exploration fails to yield results.
Asked Friday about the minister’s decision, Chislett said he has not received any feedback on why the review period was extended.