Hardrock Gold Mine Project — Environmental Assessment Decision
The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment and our natural heritage while growing our economy.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, announced that the Hardrock Gold Mine Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account. The project, proposed by Greenstone Gold Mines, consists of the construction, operation, decommissioning, and abandonment of an open pit gold mine and onsite metal mill located near Geraldton, in northern Ontario.
In making her decision, the Minister reviewed the Environmental Assessment Report and the comments received from Indigenous peoples and the public. The Government’s Interim Approach and Principles for environmental assessments ensures that project decisions are informed by meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples, public input and scientific evidence, including Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, and an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Minister’s Decision Statement establishes 116 conditions to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds, human health, the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes, physical and cultural heritage, and species at risk, and includes mitigation measures and requirements for a follow-up program that the proponent must fulfill.
For example, to mitigate potential environmental effects, the proponent will be required to manage effluent and surface water quality to protect fish and fish habitat, undertake progressive reclamation of the land, minimize emissions of dust and airborne contaminants, and provide access routes to lands used for traditional purposes.
This decision follows a thorough and science-based environmental assessment conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency with the participation of Indigenous groups, the public, and federal departments including Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. Participating provincial ministries included the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.
Following this decision, the proponent will be required to obtain additional authorizations and permits from federal departments. The Agency will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing legally-binding conditions under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
“My decision is based on rigorous scientific evidence, expertise from federal departments and extensive consultations with the public and Indigenous groups and includes conditions that will ensure there are mitigation measures to reduce the risks of environmental effects. Our government is working to protect the environment while supporting projects that create good middle-class jobs so that we can pass a safe and prosperous Canada onto our kids and grandkids.”
– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change