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Federal Environmental Assessment on Cliffs Project Now Under Way

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has posted its material for an environmental assessment of the proposed Cliffs Natural Resources project at McFaulds Lake:

…. Based on information it has received, the Agency has determined that the project is described in the comprehensive study list and that an environmental assessment of the project is required. As a result, the Agency commenced a comprehensive study on October 7, 2011.

The proposed project consists of constructing, operating and eventually decommissioning an open pit/underground chromite ore mine (30 year mine life at predicted extraction rate of 6,000 to 12,000 tonnes/day) and ore processing facility. The proposal also includes an integrated transportation system consisting of a new north-south all-season road corridor and a new ferrochrome production facility, which would be located at a different location than the mine site. The project mine site is located approximately 540 km north of the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario and 240 km west of James Bay in an area known as the “Ring of Fire”.

Under section 5 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, an environmental assessment is required because, for the purpose of enabling the project to be carried out in whole or in part, Fisheries and Oceans Canada may take action in relation to paragraphs 36(5)(a) to (e), where the regulation made pursuant to those paragraphs contains a provision that limits the application of the regulation to a named site of the Fisheries Act and may take action in relation to subsection 35(2) of the Fisheries Act; Natural Resources Canada may take action in relation to paragraph 7(1)(a) of the Explosives Act and Transport Canada may take action in relation to section 5 of the Navigable Waters Protection Act.

This project is also subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the Government of Ontario ….

More info from CEAA here and here, the Sudbury Star‘s version here, CBC Thunder Bay’s take here and more company details on its proposed project here and here.

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