Our environment, our communities and our economy are all threatened by climate change, making it more imperative than ever to develop critical mineral resources to support clean energy growth in Canada. These resources can and must be developed in a way that creates good jobs, is sustainable and environmentally responsible, and works in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and respects their rights.
The James Bay Lithium Mine Project is located about 100 kilometres east of James Bay and the Eastmain Cree Community in Quebec, and will produce lithium which is a key ingredient of clean technology like electric vehicle batteries and solar panels. The project will also create hundreds of local jobs and local economic growth.
The James Bay project has been subject to a thorough review process conducted by a Joint Assessment Committee consisting of representatives from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) and the Cree Nation Government. Based on the Environmental Assessment Report, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, has determined that the project’s environmental mitigation measures provide a sustainable path for the project to proceed.
The project may now proceed, subject to oversight throughout its lifecycle. In his Decision Statement, the Minister sets out legally-binding conditions Galaxy Lithium (Canada) Inc. (the proponent) must comply with throughout the life of the project. These 271 conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds and birds at risk, wetlands, woodland caribou, bats at risk, Cree health and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by the Crees.
For example, to protect the health of the Cree Nations, the proponent must develop a program to ensure the traditional food source of their communities remains safe for consumption. The proponent must monitor the quality of meat sourced from local game, including collecting samples and testing at least every five years. The program would be developed in collaboration with the Cree Nations, the Cree Nation Government, the local tallyman (trap line manager) and the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.
The unique nature of the Joint Assessment Committee, which facilitated day-to-day collaboration with the Cree Nation Government, and the extensive consultations with Cree Nations during the environmental assessment demonstrate the Government of Canada’s on-going commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
The Government of Canada would like to thank all participants for their invaluable comments received throughout the environmental assessment process, as well as all the robust scientific advice received from various experts.
The proponent can now proceed with obtaining any other necessary permits and authorizations from federal departments as well as from the Government of Quebec.