PROJECT AGREEMENT FOR THE HOWSE PROPERTY IRON MINEIN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

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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 Howse Minerals Limited’s (the Proponent) Howse Property Iron Mine (the Project).

Howse Minerals Limited proposes the construction, operation, and decommissioning of an open-pit iron ore mine in Newfoundland and Labrador. The mine is expected to extract up to 30 million tonnes of iron ore at a rate of up to 10,000 tonnes per day, over an approximate mine life of 12 years.

The CEA Agency and the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of the Environment and Conservation 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 (the Companion Document) (www.mpmo-bggp.gc.ca).

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

  • 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.
  • Regulatory decisions pursuant to the Fisheries Act – 90 days from receipt of a complete application assuming the Minister’s EA Decision Statement has been posted on the CEARIS and no additional consultation is required.
  • Regulatory decision pursuant to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations – 8 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 June 3, 2014
2 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EIS Guidelines CEA Agency FAs June 3 – July 3, 2014 (30 days)
3 Finalize the EIS Guidelines and provide to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs July 14, 2014
4 Submit the EIS and EIS Summary Proponent CEA Agency, FAs TBD by the Proponent
5 Perform conformity check of the EISFootnote 1 CEA Agency FAs Day 42-48 (7 days)
6 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the EIS summary CEA Agency FAs Day 49-78 (30 days)
7 Review and provide comments on the EIS to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 49-78 (30 days)
8 Review and provide information requests on the EIS to the Proponent CEA Agency FAs Day 49-103 (55 days)
9 Submit response to information requests Proponent CEA Agency, FAs TBD by the Proponent
10 Review and provide comments on the additional information to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 104-133 (30 days)
11 Review and provide information requests on the additional information to the ProponentFootnote 2 CEA Agency FAs Day 104-137 (34 days)
12 Prepare the draft Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) CEA Agency FAs Day 138-249 (112 days)
13 Public and Aboriginal group comment period on the draft EAR CEA Agency FAs Day 250-279 (30 Days)
14 Review and provide comments on the draft EAR to the CEA Agency FAs CEA Agency Day 250-279 (30 Days)
15 Finalize the EAR and submit to the Minister CEA Agency FAs Day 280-335 (56 days)
16 Minister makes EA Decision Minister CEA Agency Day 336-365 (30 days)
17 Issue and post the Minister’s EA Decision Statement on the CEARISFootnote 3 CEA Agency   Day 365 (0 days)

Annex II

Gantt Chart: Target Timelines for the EAFootnote 4

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 5

A Gantt chart that is a visual representation of the regulatory milestones and service standards for the regulatory departments listed in section 2.0.

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