PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE JOYCE LAKE DIRECT SHIPPING IRON ORE MINE IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

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The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEA Agency) has commenced an environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) for Labec Century Iron Ore’s (the Proponent) Joyce Lake Direct Shipping Iron Ore Mine (the Project).

Labec Century Iron Ore is proposing the construction, operation, closure, decommissioning and rehabilitation of an open-pit iron mine located approximately 20 kilometres northeast of Schefferville in Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposed mine would produce up to four million tonnes of ore per year over a life span of up to 7 years. The ore would be transported to the existing rail owned by Tshiuetin Rail Transportation Inc. for transportation to the Port of Sept-Îles. The mine and mine infrastructure would consist of the following components: an open pit, waste rock disposal, tailings management, processing and support infrastructure, access and haulage roads, and a rail loop. The ore body extends underneath Joyce Lake and as such, construction of the open pit will require dewatering of Joyce Lake.

The CEA Agency and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador have agreed to coordinate the federal and provincial EAs to the extent possible.

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): Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Transport Canada (TC), Environment Canada (EC) and Health Canada (HC) may be in possession of specialist or expert information or knowledge with respect to the Project;
  • Regulatory departments: DFO, NRCan and TC 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.

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 complete and acceptable application for an Explosives Factory Licence.
  4. If appropriate, issue a Governor in Council (GIC) proclamation of exemption under s.23 of the NWPA – 11.5 months from the Minister’s EA Decision Statement 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 the dates indicated below.

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 January 4, 2013
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency FAs January 4 to February 3, 2013
3 Request for additional information to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs February 3, 2013
4 Submission of additional information Proponent CEA Agency February 21, 2013
5 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs March 5, 2013
6 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
7 Review of the EIS to ensure the requirements of the EIS Guidelines are met CEA Agency FAs Day 43-55 (13 Days)
8 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary CEA Agency FAs Day 56-105 (50 Days)
9 Federal review and provision of comments on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 56-120 (65 Days)
10 Submit revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
11 Review the revised EIS or additional information, as appropriate CEA Agency FAs Day 121-160 (40 Days)
12 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 161-195 (35 Days)
13 Federal review and provision of comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency FAs   Day 196-225 (30 Days)
14 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR CEA Agency FAs Day 196-225 (30 Days)
15 Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister CEA Agency FAs Day 226-305 (80 Days)
16 Issue the EA Decision Statement Minister CEA Agency Day 306-365 (60 Days)
17 Post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARIS CEA Agency   Day 366-372 (7 Days)

Annex II

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EAFootnote 1

A Gantt chart that is a visual representation of the milestones and timelines in Annex I.

[Larger image - Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EA]

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory PhaseFootnote 2

Gantt Chart representing Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase

[Larger image - Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase]