Project Agreement for the Fire Lake North Iron Ore Project in Quebec

Available in PDF format (314 Kb)

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 Champion Iron Mines Ltd’s (the Proponent) Fire Lake North Iron Ore Project (the Project).

Champion Iron Mines Ltd. is proposing the construction, operation and decommission of an open-pit mine and iron concentrate processing plant on the mine site located near Fermont, Quebec. The proposed project also consists of constructing an access road connecting the site to route 389, a railroad between the mine and the city of Sept-Îles, and a storage site in Pointe-Noire. The Proponent predicts that the mine will generate 65,700 tonnes per day for a period of 25 years.

The CEA Agency and the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP) have agreed to coordinate the federal and provincial EAs to the extent possible pursuant to the Canada-Quebec Agreement on Environmental Assessment Cooperation.

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), Sept-Îles Port Authority (SIPA), 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: DFO, TC, EC, NRCan and SIPA may have regulatory and statutory duties with respect to the Project.
  • Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada has advisory responsibilities with respect to the Project to support consistency with the Government of Canada’s Whole of Government approach to Aboriginal consultation activities.
  • 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 this 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.

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 and the Navigable Waters 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 completed and acceptable application for an Explosives Factory Licence.
  4. If appropriate, amendment made to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations — 8 months from the EA course of action decisions posted on the CEARIS. The timeline will be reduced to 6 months if Treasury Board is satisfied that the Conditions for Exemption have been met (see the Companion Document for additional information).
  5. If appropriate, issue a Governor in Council (GIC) proclamation of exemption under s. 23 of the Navigable Waters Protection Act – 11.5 months from the EA course of action decisions posted on the CEARIS. The timeline will be reduced to 6 months if Treasury Board is satisfied that the Conditions for Exemption have been met (see the Companion Document for additional information).

5.0 SIGNATORIES

The Parties hereto have signed the Agreement, in counterpart, on dates indicated below.

Original signed by:

Annex

Annex I - Key Milestones and Service Standards for the Environmental Assessment and Aboriginal Consultation

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 November 16, 2012
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency FAs November 16 to  December 17, 2012
3 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs January 15, 2013
4 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
5 Review of the EIS to determine whether the information outlined in the EIS Guidelines has been provided CEA Agency FAs Day 61-90 (30 Days)
6 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS information CEA Agency FAs Day 91-135 (30 Days)
7 Federal review and provision of comments on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 91-135 (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 Day 136-165 (30 Days)
10 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 166-215 (50 Days)
11 Federal review and provision of comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency FAs   Day 216-245 (30 Days)
12 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR CEA Agency FAs Day 216-245 (30 Days)
13 Submit final EAR to the Minister of the Environment CEA Agency FAs Day 246-305 (60 Days)
14 Issue the EA Decision Statement Minister CEA Agency Day 306-365 (60 Days)
15 Post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARIS CEA Agency   Day 366-372 (7 Days)