PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE KIPAWA RARE EARTHS MINE PROJECT IN QUEBEC

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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 Matamec Explorations Inc.’s (the Proponent) Kipawa Rare Earths Mine (the Project).

Matamec Explorations Inc. proposes the construction, operation and decommissioning of a rare earths open-pit mine about 40 kilometres east of the municipality of Kipawa. The proposed project would process 1.3 million tonnes of ore per year over a 15-year operation period with a daily average extraction rate of 3,650 tonnes. The concentrate would be shipped by truck or by train and then by boat to Asian or European refineries. The proposed project would also include the construction of a concentrator, a power line as well as ancillary buildings such as storage, a laboratory and administrative offices.

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 April 2, 2013
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency FAs April 2 to May 2, 2013
3 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs May 31, 2013
4 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs To be determined by the Proponent
5 Review of the EIS to confirm that the information outlined in the EIS Guidelines has been provided CEA Agency FAs Day 60-89 (30 Days)
6 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary CEA Agencyt FAs Day 90-134 (45 Days)
7 Federal review and provision of comments on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 90-134 (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 135-164 (30 Days)
10 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 165-215 (51 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 Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister 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)

Annex II

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EA1

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]

1 The Gantt chart is a baseline against which the timelines, identified in the Agreement expected to be taken by federal departments and agencies in carrying out their respective tasks for the EA, will be tracked. The timelines do not account for time taken by participants who are not signatories to this Agreement, such as the Proponent, provinces, Aboriginal groups, the public or other stakeholders.

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase2

Gantt Chart representing Target Timelines for the Regulatory Phase

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

2 The Gantt chart is a baseline against which the timelines, identified in the Agreement expected to be taken by federal departments and agencies in carrying out their respective tasks for the Regulatory Phase, will be tracked. The timelines do not account for time taken by participants who are not signatories to this Agreement, such as the Proponent, provinces, Aboriginal groups, the public or other stakeholders.