The claim is that the mining company cannot calculate costs prior to knowing what conditions CBJ may place on the project. Balderdash!
A feasibility study seeks to demonstrate that the project is economically viable if designed, constructed, and operated appropriately. The feasibility study defines the ore reserves, the mining methods, the mineral processing concepts and the scale of the project. Without this information, the Planning commission cannot take a hard look at impacts to local concerns or determine appropriate conditions.
The objective of a full feasibility study is to remove all significant doubt and present relevant information to demonstrate with reasonable confidence that the project can be constructed and operated in a technically sound and economically viable manner. Capital and operating costs are estimated to an accuracy of 10–15%. The cost of a full feasibility study should be in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent of the project capital costs (Rupprecht, S., Establishing the Feasibility of your Proposed Mining Venture at 244). It is difficult to imagine that whatever conditions or mitigation CBJ may require will change the economics for the project.