Minister's Response

Project

Atlantic Mining Nova Scotia Inc. is proposing the Touquoy Gold Mine Expansion Project (the Project) to support existing gold mining operations of its Touquoy Gold Mine. The Project would be located in Moose River, Nova Scotia and would involve the use of the current open-pit for the disposal of tailings once the mining activities have ended. The Project would also include the expansion of the waste rock storage and clay borrow areas, as well as the relocation of the plant access road; increasing current mine size of 271 hectares by 18 hectares (7%).

Decision

Non-designated project.

Reasons

Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada considered the potential for the Project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, public concern related to these effects, as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the Project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • the regulatory review processes that currently apply to the Project and related consultations with Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and concerns raised by Indigenous Peoples and members of the public. These include:
    • the ongoing provincial Class 1 Environmental Assessment in accordance with Nova Scotia's Environmental Assessment Regulations under the Environment Act in which Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and Health Canada participate as expert reviewers. The provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change determined that the Proponent must provide additional information specifically related to issues raised by the requesters, the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia, and federal reviewers;
    • potential provincial permits and approvals, should the project receive an environmental assessment approval, include a watercourse alteration permit, wetland alteration permit, and an industrial approval to operate pursuant to the Activities Designation Regulations under the Environment Act;
    • federal authorizations and approvals, if required for the Project, pursuant to the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act; and
  • the Project must comply with relevant provisions of federal and provincial legislation, including the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; Nova Scotia's Endangered Species Act, Nova Scotia's Special Places Act, and Nova Scotia's Environment Act.

Document Reference Number: 3

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