PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE HOPES ADVANCE IRON MINE IN QUEBEC

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PREAMBLE

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) has commenced an environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for Oceanic Iron Ore Corporation’s (the Proponent) Hopes Advance Iron Mine (the Project).

The proposed project consists of an open-pit iron mine with a production capacity of about 10 to 20 million tons of concentrate per year near Aupaluk, Nunavik. The Proponent also proposes building a sea terminal consisting of a 330 metre loading wharf, a tug moorage area, a commercial wharf and a causeway. The concentrate would be pumped to the marine terminal through a 26 km long pipeline.

The CEA Agency will coordinate the federal EA and, to the extent possible, the provincial environmental review pursuant to chapter 23 of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement (JBNQA). To the extent possible, it will also coordinate the assessment of the project’s components located in the marine region with the impact review conducted pursuant to chapter 7 of the implementation plan of the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement (NILCA).

Nothing in this Project Agreement (the Agreement) fetters the powers, statutory authorities and functions of federal departments/agencies and their respective Ministers.

The signatories to this Agreement (the Parties) commit to work together to facilitate an effective, accountable, transparent, timely and predictable federal review in relation to the proposed project and to contribute to fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal groups.

1.0 PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to provide detailed information pertaining to the federal review process where the CEA Agency is the responsible authority during the EA. For further information regarding the federal review process, please refer to The Federal Review Process for Major Projects: Project Agreement Companion Document (PDF, 144 KB).

2.0 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The following federal departments and agencies have identified an interest in the Project, and will participate in the federal review:

  • Responsible authority: The CEA Agency will ensure that an EA is conducted, an EA Report is prepared and that an EA Decision Statement is issued;
  • Federal authorities (FAs): Environment Canada (EC), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Transport Canada (TC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and Health Canada (HC) may be in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to the Project;
  • Regulatory departments: EC, DFO, TC and NRCan may have regulatory and statutory duties in relation to the Project;
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has advisory responsibilities in relation to the Project to support consistency with the Government of Canada’s Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation activities; and,
  • The Major Projects Management Office will provide oversight and advice throughout the entire federal review in relation to the Project to ensure adherence to the service standards and roles and responsibilities of all Parties as described in the Agreement and the Companion Document.

3.0 Aboriginal Consultation

The Parties are committed to a “Whole of Government” approach to Aboriginal consultation that is integrated with the EA and regulatory process, to the extent possible. For more information on the Whole of Government approach, including roles and responsibilities of departments and agencies, as well as coordination during the project review, please refer to Annex I of the Companion Document.

Where applicable, the terms and conditions of all existing agreements or protocols and/or MOUs between the Crown and Aboriginal groups will be respected.

To the extent possible, and under the coordination of the CEA Agency during the EA phase, the parties and the Kativik Environmental Quality Commission (KEQC), authorized under chapter 23 of the JBNQA, will work together for a common approach to Aboriginal consultation. To the extent possible, the CEA Agency will coordinate its consultations with those of the Nunavik Marine Region Impact Review Board, mandated by the NILCA.

4.0 TIMELINES

Timelines identified in the Agreement represent the time expected to be taken by federal departments and agencies in carrying out their respective tasks. The timelines do not account for time taken by the Proponent to collect information or undertake a study at the request of the CEA Agency during the EA or regulatory departments during the regulatory phase. The target timelines for the federal review are as follows:

  1. Completion of the EA, as per CEAA 2012 – 365 days from the posting of the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry Internet Site (CEARIS) to the Minister of the Environment's (the Minister) EA Decision Statement about whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
  2. Regulatory decisions pursuant to the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act, and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – 90 days from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS, assuming submission of all applications no later than the time of the submission of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
  3. Regulatory decision pursuant to the Explosives Act – 1 month from the submission of a complete and acceptable application for an Explosives Factory Licence.
  4. Where applicable, amendment made to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations – 8 months from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement posted on the CEARIS.
  5. Where applicable, decree pursuant to section 23 of the Navigable Waters Protection Act – 11.5 months from the EA course of action decisions posted on the CEARIS.

5.0 SIGNATORIES

The Parties hereto have signed the Agreement, in counterpart, on [date].

Original signed by
Serge P. Dupont
Deputy Minister
Natural Resources Canada
March 11, 2013
Original signed by
Elaine Feldman
President
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
March 15, 2013
Original signed by
Matthew King
Deputy Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
March 14, 2013
Original signed by
Marie Lemay
Associate Deputy Minister
Infrastructure Canada
(on behalf of Louis Lévesque
Deputy Minister, Transport Canada)
April 12, 2013
Original signed by
Bob Hamilton
Deputy Minister
Environment Canada
March 15, 2013
Original signed by
Michael Wernick
Deputy Minister
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
March 14, 2013

Annex I

Key Milestones and Service Standards for the Environmental Assessment and Aboriginal Consultation

  Milestone Lead Support As Needed Timeline/Completion Date

1

Post the Notice of Commencement (NoC) on the CEARIS

CEA Agency

FAs

October 11, 2012

2

Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines

CEA Agency

FAs

October 11 to November 12, 2012

3

Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent

CEA Agency

FAs

December 10, 2012

4

Submit the EIS and EIS Summary

Proponent

CEA Agency, FAs

To be determined by the Proponent

5

Review of the EIS to ensure the requirements of the EIS Guidelines are met

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 61 and 90 (30 days)

6

Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary

CEA Agency

FAs

For 30 days between day 91 and 135

7

Federal review and provision of comments on the EIS to the Proponent

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 91 and 135 (45 days)

8

Submit revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate

Proponent

CEA Agency, FAs

To be determined by the Proponent

9

Review the revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 136 and 165 (30 days)

10

Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR)

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 166 and 215 (50 days)

11

Federal review and provision of comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency

FAs

 

Between day 216 and 245 (30 days)

12

Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 216 and 245 (30 days)

13

Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister

CEA Agency

FAs

Between day 246 and 305 (60 days)

14

Issue the EA Decision Statement

Minister

CEA Agency

Between day 306 and 365 (60 days)

15

Post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARIS

CEA Agency

 

Between day 366 and 372 (7 days)