Feds invite public comments on description of proposed Ontario gold mine

By Anosha Khan

Law360 Canada (August 17, 2023, 4:13 PM EDT) -- The Impact Assessment Agency of Canada has announced that it is inviting public comments on the summary of the initial project description for the Great Bear Gold Project, a proposed northern Ontario gold mine.

The Great Bear Gold Project and its construction, operation, decommissioning and abandonment was proposed by Kinross Gold Corporation. The underground gold mine with an on-site metal mill would be located 23 kilometres southeast of Red Lake, Ont.

According to an Aug. 17 statement, the project would include three open-pits and produce up to 60,000 tonnes of ore per day while the metal mill would process up to 15,000 tonnes of ore per day. The project, once up and running, would operate for about 20 years. 

The agency asks for the public and Indigenous peoples to review the mine’s project description and provide comments on the project. This feedback is said to help the agency prepare a summary of issues to decide whether the project should undergo an impact assessment.

Interested individuals and parties can participate in a virtual information session on Zoom to learn more about the project, the impact assessment process and how to submit their comments. English sessions are to take place on Aug. 31 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET and Sept. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EDT while a French session is scheduled for Aug. 31 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT.

Comments can be submitted online through the project home page on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (reference number 85832). If participants wish to provide input in a different format, they can do so by emailing greatbear@iaac-aeic.gc.ca.

Participant funding is to be available to those eligible during the comment period, with details to be announced shortly, the agency said, and will retroactively imburse eligible participants who contribute to this first comment period.

The deadline to submit comments is Sept. 18 at 11:59 p.m. Comments will be published online as part of the project file. If the agency determines a federal impact assessment is needed, there will be additional opportunities for the public and Indigenous groups to comment over the course of the impact assessment process.

If you have information, story ideas or news tips for Law360 Canada on business-related law and litigation, including class actions, please contact Anosha Khan at anosha.khan@lexisnexis.ca or 905-415-5838.