faqs september 9, 2002

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faqs   september 9, 2002 Powered By Docstoc
					                    Proposed South Pit Expansion
                    Questions and Answers – September 29, 2003

    This is a “living document” and we will be adding questions and answers and sharing with
    our neighbors and community, by mail outs (sign ups from the Open House) and posting to
    our website, which we expect to be up by the mid-October.

What are you proposing to change?

Two things – first, diverting the unnamed inlet creek of Cargill Lake to a tributary of the
Lost River, and second, removing the existing Cargill Lake and designing and
constructing a new lake to replace it.
The ongoing geological exploration activities at our mine site have identified additional
ore reserves that extend east and south of the original pit design. These ore reserves
are located adjacent to and beneath Cargill Lake. In order to extract the ore from these
reserves, Cargill Lake must be moved.

Is there any other way to get at the ore without moving the lake?

Unfortunately no. The clay substrate at the site is not conducive to underground mining.

You are removing Cargill Creek; is that being replaced?

Yes, the creek will be replaced by constructing a diversion creek upstream of the lake.

When you divert the inlet creek does that impact the fish in that creek?

Most of the year, the creek has a very low flow and the fish populations reflect this.
When the diversion is complete, a fish relocation program will be completed to ensure
that any fish in the decommissioned creek are transferred to the new creek. The
diversion of the creek upstream of the lake will flood new areas, providing new fish
habitat. Negative impacts to the fish are not anticipated.

Does Agrium have experience in building lakes?

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Agrium has not ever built a lake, but we are no strangers to water structures. At KPO
alone, we have elevated the existing Cargill Lake, constructed a Tailings Pond, a Floc
Settling Basin, an Aeration Basin, and on a larger scale, diverted the Lost River twice
and a tributary once.

How long does it take to actually build the new lake?

It will take approximately 1.5 years to construct. Construction activities are best
completed at the site during the winter months. This timeframe includes a growing
season which is required for most aquatic structures.

Does anyone fish in this lake?

No. At this time the only access to the lake is on Agrium’s property. However, long
term, when mining is complete, the pit will be made into a lake, where residents will
once again enjoy a much larger water body to fish in.

How do you transfer the fish from one lake to the other?

A trap and relocation program would be completed to relocate the fish to the new lake.
The fish will be netted and transferred to the new lake.

How much does it cost to build a lake?

It is estimated to cost approximately $4 or 5 million.

What will the name of the replacement lake be?

We are uncertain at this time. We are considering a name that was used historically for
Cargill Lake, but that’s still up in the air at this time.

When will construction start?

An application for a Fisheries Act Authorization for the diversion of Cargill Creek (inlet
stream) was submitted in the spring (part of the original approved mine plan) and we
hope to submit the application for relocation of Cargill Lake in December 2003. If
approval for the inlet diversion is received in the fall of 2003, construction will begin in
the winter of 2003/2004. Federal Fisheries Act approval for lake removal and
replacement could be in the fall of 2004 with construction of the new lake in the winter of
2004/2005 and completion in early 2006.

How much water do you use in your process and where does that water come

We have a Permit to Take Water from Cargill Lake with the Ministry of the Environment.
It permits us to take up to 1,200,000 litres/day, although we typically only use half of

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that. This water is used in the mill, while a small portion of it is treated and used for
shower/wash/flush water.

What was the need for the Lost River diversion project?

The Lost River Diversion project was required to allow for the expansion of the open pit
mining operation. The Lost River Diversion project was a major component of the
original environmental assessment process. The diversion channel resulted in the
creation of additional fisheries habitat that were above and beyond that agreed to in the
original environmental assessment.

How many times have you diverted the river and why?

We have diverted the river twice and the tributary once. The first diversion was
relatively small and was required as the proximity of the pit to the river proved to be
unsafe. The second larger diversion replaced the need for the smaller first one. It was
planned in the original application and assessment of the site as a requirement to
accommodate the ultimate pit perimeter.

After Agrium is completely finished mining this area, then what happens?

Our mine closure plan involves converting the open pit into a lake. All structures and
infrastructure will be removed. The area will be re-vegetated and monitored.

What type of studies are being done on the lakes, creeks, etc. on Agrium’s

Cargill Lake and the Lost River Watershed have been intensively studied over the past
5 years. Baseline monitoring was conducted from 1996 to 1998 in support of the
environmental impact study for the development of this site. The studies on Cargill
Lake provide baseline and current information on water quality, benthic community
structure, sediment quality, zooplankton community structure, fish community and fish
populations, phytoplankton community structure, fish tissue concentrations, nutrient
status and oxygen demands, hydrology and bathymetry, thermal stratification and
dissolved oxygen. Annual studies are on-going.

Who has/is conducting the studies?

Agrium, HBA Consulting, Knight Piesold Consulting, Minnow Environmental Inc.,
Phoenix and SNC Lavalin Fenco McLaren Inc.

What type of tailings pond does Agrium have?

It is a clay core dam. The pond has a 30 day retention time for settling of solids.

What is in the tailings pond?

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Water and solids. The solids settle out in the tailings pond. The water is recycled back
through the mill. Superfluous water is treated and released to the environment twice
per year.

Is there mercury in the ponds, if so how much?

Mercury levels in the ponds on-site have elevated in trace quantities due to the effects
of impounding waters in the settling ponds. The mercury levels are closely monitored
and changes have been made to the operation of the site to minimize the occurrence of

Has there ever been a breech of the tailings dam and if there was what would

No. If there were a breach in the tailings dam, the clarification dam (which is located
downstream of the tailings dam) would provide back-up protection to minimize any
potential downstream effects.

What rights do First Nations have to the land Agrium’s mine is located upon?

There are two types of First Nations claims: traditional use rights, and downstream user
rights. Traditional use rights entail the availability for nearby communities to use the
land for fishing, hunting, trapping, berry picking, gathering, etc. Downstream user rights
refer to communities who may be located downstream of our effluent discharge point
who use the water.

Does Agrium currently allow First Nations access for hunting and fishing?

First Nations have access for traditional use lands not immediately used for mining and
milling operations.

What percentage of the total land owned by Agrium do the First Nations use for
hunting and fishing?

Current land holdings are approximately 6900 hectares of which 1200 can be
considered in active use for the mining operation. (Note: The above figures include the
area of the SRO Lease application - 1710 ha.) We have not encountered First Nations
on site in any hunting or fishing capacity since operation of the mine began.

What percentage of your employees are First Nations and does Agrium have a
hiring process related to employing First Nations?

Nine percent of our employees are First Nations & Metis and we are currently looking at
ways to attract more First Nations as employees or contractors at our site.

What is the total life of the mine if this expansion takes place?

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This expansion extends the life of the mine by a minimum of 5 years (2015).

How many new jobs will be created as a result of this expansion?

This expansion may result in a small permanent increase in employment at the site.
During the construction phase, contract work also be generated. This expansion will
also extend the life of existing positions.

Is Agrium continuing to look for more ore reserves in the area?

Absolutely. Exploration activities are on-going.

How can I find out more? Can I go on a tour?

Please sign up to be on our mailing list. We are just beginning our public outreach
process. We welcome any comments and questions you many have. Please feel free
to direct your inquiries the following Agrium representatives:

Tom Diment
Manager, Kapuskasing Phosphate Operations
PO Box 92, Kapuskasing, Ontario, P5N 2Y1
Phone: (705) 337-4204 Fax: (705) 335-3404          e-mail:

JoAnne Mooney
Environmental Coordinator
Phone (705) 337-4210                               email:

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