Acts and Regulations

         Environmental and Social Impacts

         Community Employment and
         Other Economic Opportunities

         Community Experiences
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                    27

                                                    2.1 Overview                                            For example, it may be possible to mine
                                                                                                            diamonds in a remote area with little
                                                    This section explains the purpose of mine               infrastructure, but not lead/zinc. This is
                                                    development, identifies the main activities              because diamonds are high value/low
                                                    and players, and outlines opportunities for             volume, whereas lead/zinc is lower value
                                                    Aboriginal communities to get involved during           and higher volume;
                                                    mine development.                                      • Accessibility of the resource;
                                                                                                           • Size of the resource;
                                                    What Is Mine Development?
                                                                        Mine development is the            • Value of the resource;
                                                                        second phase of the mining         • Market prices;
                                                                        cycle. The purposes of this
                                                                        important phase are to learn       • Distance from markets and supply points;
                                                                        about the potential value of       • Ability to recover the resource in an
                                                                        a mineral deposit, determine         environmentally safe way;
                                                                        if it can be mined profitably
                                                                                                           • Regulatory regime; and
                                                                        to the benefit of the mining
                                                                        company and the region,            • Availability of qualified work force.
                                                                        and if so, to build a mine.
                                                                                                        The main activities of mine development
                                                                        In order to build a mine, the
                                                                        ore deposit must be large
                                                    and valuable enough to pay for the costs of            • Collecting more technical, environmental
                                                    construction (capital costs) and for the costs to        and socio-economic data to increase the
                                                    operate the mine (operating costs). Factors that         company’s knowledge of the resources. This
                                                    determine if a resource is economical to mine            means more samples, more drill holes, and
                                                    include:                                                 more field tests;
                                                       • Location of the resource;                         • Developing the mine plan and
                                                       • Type of mineral and access to
                                                         infrastructure (roads, airstrips, etc.).          • Consultations between government and
                                                                                                             mining companies to make sure that
28                                                                                                                      EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

      regulations are met. Mining companies                                    baseline studies and feasibility
      also consult with communities to make                                    studies);
      sure that their needs and requirements are
                                                                           • one to three years for
                                                                             environmental assessment and
     • Evaluating financial, socio-economic and                               permitting; and
       environmental impacts;
                                                                           • two to four years to build the mine
     • Obtaining permits and licences;                                       and infrastructure.
     • The final evaluation of the project is                           Costs
       carried out and the production decision is
                                                                       It generally costs between $50 million and
       taken; and
                                                                       $500 million or more to develop a mine. The
     • The mine and its                                                         cost depends on:
       facilities are built, ready       Facts & Figures                           • Type of mine;
       to start operations.
                                     Ekati and Diavik, two diamond
                                                                                   • Size of the mine (the larger the
Time Frames
                                     mines built in the Northwest
                                                                                     mine, the higher the cost);
Mine development can                 Territories, had start-up costs               • Location of the mine; and
take anywhere from 5 to              of $750 million and $1.3 billion,
10 years. The time needed                                                          • Amount of work and time required
                                     respectively. These costs were very
depends on where the mine                                                            to do the test work, collect the
                                     high because the mines are large,
is located, how large and                                                            data, and complete environmental
                                     remote, and had technological
complex the development                                                              studies and permitting.
                                     challenges. Smaller mines closer
is (including infrastructure                                                    Test work, studies and
                                     to highways, electricity and other
needs and availability), and                                                    permitting can cost in
                                     infrastructure would have start-up
the regional regulations and                                                    the $10 million range
                                     costs closer to $300 million.
review processes. In general,                                                   (this can climb as
it takes:                            (Source: BHP Billiton Diamonds and         high as $100 million
                                     Diavik Diamond Mine)                       if special facilities
      • two to three years
        for test work and                                                       are needed on-site
        studies (environmental                                                  for additional testing
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                    29

                                                    and data collection, as is the case for diamond   Detailed Analysis and Evaluation
                                                    mines). Construction costs are often in the
                                                                                                                             Samples are analyzed
                                                    $100 million range.
                                                                                                                             to find out the grade
                                                                                                                             (the quantity of metals,
                                                                                                                              diamonds or other
                                                    What Are the Mine
                                                                                                                              commodities) and to
                                                    Development Activities?                                                   assess the value of the
                                                    If initial exploration leads to positive                                  deposit.
                                                    results, the project moves from exploration       Bulk Sampling
                                                    to the deposit evaluation and mine planning
                                                    stage. During this stage, the mining company      Bulk sampling
                                                    will increase its activities and investment to    gives large and
                                                    determine if the mineral deposit is worthwhile    representative
                                                    (viable) and if a mine can be developed. It       mineralized
                                                    is in this stage that the mining company will     samples. It is used
                                                    prepare the design of the mine. Once evaluation   to determine the
                                                    and planning are completed and a decision on      metallurgical
                                                    building a mine has been taken, construction      characteristics of
                                                    can start. Depending on the location and the      the material. The sample is tested in a testing
                                                    type of mineral, mine development activities      plant that recovers the minerals. A test mine
                                                    may include:                                      may be built to identify new technologies
                                                                                                                        needed to recover the minerals.
                                                                 Detailed Drilling
                                                                                                                       Environmental Baseline
                                                                 The drilling extracts drill core                      Studies
                                                                 (cylindrical samples of the
                                                                 rock) for analysis. Detailed                          Environmental work takes
                                                                 drilling (drill holes spaced at                       place during this stage along
                                                                 close intervals) is required to                       with the other field activities.
                                                                 precisely define the shape and                         Environmental baseline
                                                                 size of the deposits.                                 studies are a required part of
                                                                                                                       the environmental approval
30                                                                                                              EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

process. These studies are used to establish the
state of the environment, including wildlife, and                                  Feasibility Studies
then to determine if there will be any changes.
                                                    Geology and resource             How large is the deposit or resource?
Preliminary Design and Engineering                  determination                    What is the grade of the minerals or metals in the deposit?
(Prefeasibility)                                                                     What will be mined?
The preliminary design and engineering stage        Mine planning                    How will it be mined (open pit/surface or underground)?
of mine development occurs at the prefeasibility                                     What equipment will be used to mine it?
phase. The prefeasibility is an intermediate                                         What is the best way to extract the minerals or metals (for
activity meant to verify a project’s potential      Process plant test work and      example) from the host rock?
                                                    plant design
before investing money into additional detailed                                      Will there be a smelter?
work.                                               Infrastructure planning          What roads, airstrips, camps and complexes will be needed?
Feasibility Studies                                                                  What are the water supply needs?
                                                    Water and waste management
Feasibility studies are a series of planning                                         What are the discharge quality requirements?
studies and evaluation reports of the geological,                                    How can waste be safely disposed of?
engineering, economic, legal and site data.                                          What are the main issues from the environmental and socio-
                                                    Environmental and socio-         economic studies?
The purpose of feasibility studies is to evaluate   economic planning
all aspects of a project, review the plans,                                          How can plans address these issues?
identify risks, refine the cost estimates, and       Mine closure and reclamation
                                                                                     What are the best approaches for reclamation and closure?
decide whether a mineral deposit can be mined
                                                                                     How many workers are required?
                                                                                     What types and amounts of equipment and supplies are
Feasibility studies usually include the following   Operating cost estimates
                                                                                     required during operations?
(see table):                                                                         What are the annual operating costs?
                                                                                     What are the costs to plan, design, permit and construct the
                                                    Capital costs
                                                                                     What are the costs to borrow money to build and operate the
                                                    Financial analysis
                                                                                     What is the yearly cost and annual earnings?
                                                                                     What is the expected profit or loss?
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                        31

                                                    Mine Closure and Reclamation Plan                                                   Permitting and
                                                    An important step in planning is the mine closure
                                                    and reclamation plan. This plan is a detailed
                                                    report on how the mine site will be cleaned                                          As the mine
                                                    up and restored once mining operations are                                           development
                                                    completed. The direct closure impact of all areas                                    activities
                                                    of a mine site should be addressed as an integral                                    increase and
                                                    part of the design criteria during the detailed     become more intense, permits will be required.
                                                    engineering phase of the project. This includes     The mining company will submit a project
                                                    removal of structures, how to handle tailings,      description to governments or local boards if
                                                    how to dispose of chemicals and hydrocarbons,       feasibility studies are encouraging and show
                                                    waste rock slope stability, pit shut-down, and      that there is a potential project. This will start
                                                    revegetation of terrain.                            the environmental
                                                   Governments now usually insist that the
                                                                                                        process. This
                                                   company provide a financial assurance (e.g.,
                                                                                                        process must
                                                                a bond) to cover unexpected
                                                                                                        be completed
                                                                closure problems or failures.
                                  Facts & Figures                                                       before moving to
                                                                This financial assurance can
                                                                                                        final feasibility
                                                                be required before the start
                              Most important in the planning                                            and the start of
                                                                of construction (i.e., before
                              process is the safety and                                                 construction.
                                                                liability is created). If mine
                              consideration of workers and the
                                                                closure and reclamation are too
                              local environment. A closure and
                                                                expensive, the proposed mine
                              reclamation plan explains how the
                                                                may not move on to production.
                              company will rehabilitate the mine
                              site once the ore runs out and the
                              mine closes.
32                                                                                                                                 EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

Negotiation of Agreements                                          Sales Contracts
The types of agreements negotiated between                         During early feasibility, assumptions are
a mining company and the community at this                         made on sales of the mineral(s) to be
stage vary and may include Impact and Benefits                      mined. However, before final feasibility,
Agreements, Memoranda of Understanding, and                        the actual terms and conditions
Participation Agreements.                                          of sales must be negotiated and
                                                                   defined. This is the role of a sales
Even if formal agreements are in general not
                                                                   contract – which is the sale of a
legally required, this is still an excellent time
                                                                   product to a customer.
for the mining company and Aboriginal groups
to develop a good relationship.                                    In addition to sales contracts,
                                                                   a very important activity is to
                                                                   establish affordable transportation to get the
                                                                   product to the customer. This may require the
                                                                   use of ports and ships.

     Type of Agreement                                Definition                                                       Example
                                MOUs are simply a way of creating an understanding         The Timiskaming First Nation (TFN) and Tres-Or Resources
                                between a community and a mining or exploration            signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering exploration
 Memorandum of Understanding
                                company. The MOU defines principles for working             on lands the TFN claims as its traditional territory. The MOU
                                together for mutual benefit. MOUs are not legally binding   provides a framework in which the company and the First Nation
                                contractual arrangements (like IBAs).                      can mutually participate in exploration and potential discoveries.
                                                                                           In 1994, Inmet Mining Company and the Cree of Mistassini
                                An IBA is a contractual agreement between an               signed an IBA related to operation of the Troilus gold mine,
                                Aboriginal community or entity and a mining company.       located near James Bay, with particular emphasis on
                                It defines agreements made between the two parties          employment. As of 2005, the Troilus mine employs 285 people
 Impact and Benefits Agreement   about employment opportunities, business opportunities,    of whom 17% are Cree.
 (IBA)                          and training. The IBA spells out the obligations of each
                                party in these areas and the funding arrangements as       Another example is the Raglan Agreement between
                                appropriate to the development. The content of an IBA      Falconbridge and the Inuit of northern Quebec. This is an
                                varies depending on current important issues.              historic agreement that saw the introduction of “revenue
                                                                                           The Diavik Diamond mine has four PAs in place covering the
 Participation Agreement (PA)   PAs are essentially the same as IBAs.
                                                                                           construction and operation phases of the mine.
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                        33

                                                    Final/Bankable Feasibility                          NOT go ahead with the project because of
                                                                                                        uncertainty in the markets. This means that
                                                    During final/bankable feasibility, all existing
                                                                                                        all agreements negotiated to this point are
                                                    feasibility studies are reviewed. The permitting,
                                                                                                        conditional agreements that depend on whether
                                                    environmental assessment, closure costs, and
                                                                                                        the company decides to go ahead.
                                                    negotiated agreements are also reviewed. The
                                                    objective is to determine a final costing for the                         Construction
                                                    project so that the final investment decision can
                                                                                                                             Construction refers to the
                                                    go ahead.
                                                                                                                             development of the entire
                                                    Project Financing                                                        facility, including the mine,
                                                                                                                             processing plant (mill), and
                                                    Once a final costing is known, the mining
                                                                                                                             all related infrastructure.
                                                    company needs to secure project financing.
                                                    The bankable study is used to demonstrate                                            Infrastructure
                                                    a project’s feasibility and to help secure                                           development
                                                    investment. Companies may need to borrow the                                         includes all
                                                    money from a bank or raise money by issuing                                          facilities needed
                                                    stocks on the stock market. Large mining                                             to support the
                                                    companies may be self-funding.                                                       operation, other
                                                                                                                                         than the mine
                                                    Investment Decision by Mining Company
                                                                                                        and process plant (mill). This stage requires
                                                    The final investment decision – whether              most of the money and provides most of the
                                                    to build the mine – happens when the final           jobs. A company does not usually commit to
                                                    feasibility study is finished, project financing is   construction until the details of all permitting and
                                                    secured, and permits are received. The Board of     regulatory requirements have been confirmed.
                                                    Directors of the mining company will make the       Common activities during construction include:
                                                    final decision on whether to move ahead and
                                                                                                           • Site preparation;
                                                    build the mine.
                                                                                                           • Clearing and initial preparation for mining
                                                    Although it is hard to imagine, given how much
                                                                                                             (i.e., overburden removal);
                                                    work, money and time have been invested
                                                    to get to this point, the decision could be to         • Construction of accommodations;
34                                                                                                      EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

     • Construction of process and site facilities                 Senior Mining Companies
       (i.e., mills, offices, etc.);
                                                                   Senior mining companies are the
     • Building roads and airstrips (installation of               main players in mine development.
       power lines and railway);                       They are the manager and operator, and are
                                                       involved in all activities from exploration
     • Training programs for personnel; and
                                                       through construction and operations.
     • Installation of environmental protection
                                                                Consulting Firms
                                                                Consulting firms could be hired
Who Are the Main Players in Mine                                by the mining company to help
Development?                                                    them with feasibility studies, detail
                                                       design, construction management, and project
              Junior Exploration Companies
                                                       management activities.
             Junior exploration companies                         Equipment Suppliers
             are not usually directly involved
in mine development. They do not have the                          Equipment suppliers manufacture
resources, neither money nor people, to develop                    and sell equipment to the mining
and build a mine. Typically, when they find             company and often provide maintenance
something promising during exploration, they           services in the operating phase.
will seek a senior mining company to invest in             Governments
the property and take on the role of manager
and operator. In some cases, the junior company             Governments set the rules for permitting,
or prospector that did the exploration work may             manage the permitting process, and issue
become a partner or sell its stake to a larger              the required permits. They conduct the
company.                                               environmental assessment process.

There are some exceptions. Tahera Diamond              In Canada, the provinces are the primary
Corporation is a junior mining company that            regulators of mine development. The
is developing the Jericho diamond mine in              provinces are responsible for granting
Nunavut.                                               most permits. Since 2001, the Yukon now
                                                       exercises provincial-type responsibilities. In
                                                       the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                     35

                                                    federal government plays a major role through        infrastructure needed for a mine operation to go
                                                    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).           into production. They provide skilled workers,
                                                    The main federal departments involved in             heavy mobile equipment, tools and supplies,
                                                    environmental assessments and permitting             and a history of successful construction in
                                                    are Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the            similar industries.
                                                    Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO),            Construction companies and other contractors
                                                    Environment Canada (EC),Transport Canada,            often provide employment for local workers,
                                                    and INAC.                                            which can often lead to permanent employment
                                                               Financial Institutions                    at the mine.
                                                                Once a project has reached the                     Communities
                                                                development stage, the cost of
                                                                                                                    The mine development phase offers
                                                                proceeding through development
                                                                                                                    communities the greatest opportunity
                                                    and production is very high compared to the
                                                                                                         for involvement. The environmental assessment
                                                    initial exploration stage. Depending on the
                                                                                                         process and the many consultations required
                                                    size of the mineral deposit and the eventual
                                                                                                         to determine if
                                                    mine, the cost can range from $10 million to
                                                                                                         the project can
                                                    $2 billion. Most mining companies will raise
                                                                                                         develop into a
                                                    these funds through a combination of individual
                                                                                                         mine are opportune
                                                    and institutional investors through the markets
                                                                                                         times for the
                                                    (equity financing) and by borrowing money
                                                                                                         community and the
                                                    from the banks (debt financing). For very large
                                                                                                         mine developer to
                                                    deposits that cost billions of dollars to develop,
                                                                                                         identify community
                                                    large mining companies will sometimes pool
                                                    their resources into a partnership.
                                                               Construction Companies                    How Can Aboriginal Communities
                                                               Construction companies and                Get Involved in Mine Development?
                                                               contractors are hired to build the        A wide range of community consultations
                                                               roads and plant sites, put up the         often take place during the mine development
                                                    buildings, and construct the process plant and       process, including:
36                                                                                                    EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

     •   Public meetings and hearings;                 • Non-governmental organizations
     •   Open houses;                                    (NGOs); and
     •   Workshops;                                    • Media.
     •   Focus groups;                              The results of consultations may
     •   Interviews; and                            affect the decisions of Aboriginal/
                                                    community organizations and even
     • Meetings and consultations related to
                                                    co-management boards in land claim
       environmental assessment and licence and
                                                    jurisdictions (i.e., Mackenzie Valley
       permit applications.
                                                    Land and Water Board).
Communities provide input and feedback on
                                                    Another typical result from consultations is
a proposed project during the consultations,
                                                    scheduled site visits to actually see the land
raise issues and concerns, and identify potential
                                                    where the development is proposed. Elders
                                                    often visit the site so that they can better
Consultations allow communities to participate      see what is being proposed on what may               Facts & Figures
in a meaningful way and to experience a sense       be considered traditional lands. From an
of ownership of the project.                        environmental monitoring standpoint, site        Exploration and mining companies,
Anyone potentially affected by the mine             visits also serve to monitor development.        in addition to complying with
development would attend the consultations,         Communities also provide input during            regulatory regimes at the federal,
including:                                          the mine development process by                  provincial and territorial levels, are

     • Chiefs or mayors;                            reviewing project descriptions, leading          voluntarily adopting environmental
                                                    traditional knowledge studies, and               management practices, including
     • Band councils and band members;              developing participation or impact and           the application of traditional

     • Aboriginal community organizations;          benefits agreements with the mining               knowledge, to respond to community
                                                    company.                                         concerns about the potential effects
     • Renewable resource boards/committees;                                                         of mining.
                                                    INAC provides financial assistance to
     • Aboriginal land corporations;                enable First Nations and Inuit groups to
     • Local and regional governments;              enter into various types of negotiations
                                                    with a mining company.
     • Community members;
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                                                                       37

                                                    2.2 Acts and Regulations                                                         What Licences and Permits Are
                                                    This section identifies the general regulatory
                                                    requirements, licences, permits and leases that                                  Permit and licence requirements, and their
                                                    may apply during mine development.                                               application processes, vary in different
                                                                                                                                     regulatory jurisdictions in Canada. Provincial
                                                    Mine development regulations are complex and
                                                                                                                                     and territorial regulatory authorities generally
                                                    vary between provinces, territories and Indian
                                                                                                                                     administer permits. The federal government
                                                    Reserves. The purpose of all regulations is to
                                                                                                                                     through INAC administers permits and licences
                                                    develop the mine in a way that will benefit
                                                                                                                                     in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and on
                                                    people and minimize potential negative impacts
                                                                                                                                     Indian Reserves. Several federal departments
                                                    on the environment.
                                                                                                                                     have permits, licences or authorizations that
                                                    The Canadian Environmental Assessment                                            apply to mining projects.
                                                    Act and the requirement to include traditional
                                                                                                                                     Key permits include those related to land and
                                                    knowledge as part of the mine planning process
                                                                                                                                     water use, mine closure and reclamation plans,
                                                    are particularly important. They provide
                                                                                                                                     and camp construction permits. The following
                                                    Aboriginal communities with the opportunity to
                                                                                                                                     table outlines the general licences and permits
                                                    get involved early in the process.
                                                                                                                                     required during mine development.

                                                                                           Key Development Permits
                                                      Provincial and territorial agencies (guided by the Council of Ministers of the Environment [CCME] guidelines) generally control water discharge
                             Water                    criteria and water licences
                                                      Water crossings permits are issued under the Navigable Waters Protection Act
                                                      Authorization under Section 35 of the Fisheries Act is required if impacts on fish habitat are expected
                                                      Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has developed various guidelines to make sure that there is no net loss to fish habitat
                                                      In the case of potential effects on migratory wildlife, the Canadian Migratory Bird Convention Act applies and, in the case of endangered and
                             Wildlife                 threatened species, the Canadian Species at Risk Act applies
                                                      The provinces and territories also have a range of policies and legislation addressing wildlife and species at risk issues
                                                      Construction permits for buildings
                             Mine construction
                                                      Explosives permits
                             and development
                                                      Authorization from provincial/territorial departments to allow excavation to go ahead
38                                                                                                  EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

What Is a Mining Lease?                               2.3 Environmental and
A mining lease is “a legal contract for the               Social Impacts
right to work a mine and extract the mineral or
other valuable deposits done under prescribed         This section identifies the potential
conditions of time, price, rental, or royalties.” A   environmental and social impacts a community
mining lease is required to develop a property        may experience during mine development. It
into a mine. Mining leases require a surveyor         also explains the purpose of an environmental
to survey claim boundaries. Leases are valid          assessment. Types of environmental monitoring,
in most provinces/territories for 20 or 21 years      mitigation measures, and opportunities for
and can be renewed. Some jurisdictions impose         community input are included.
certain conditions upon the renewal of mining
leases (for example, the property must be the
                                                      What Are the Potential
site of an active or closed mine).
                                                      Environmental Impacts?
Mineral rights have been government-owned             Every mine development is unique and will
since the early 1900s and cannot be purchased,        affect the environment in different ways. Using
only leased, by individuals or companies.             modern technologies, sound planning, and
Different owners can hold surface and mineral         rigorous impact monitoring, specialists can
rights on the same property. The regulation of        reduce these impacts.
mining activities on publicly owned mineral
leases falls under provincial/territorial/federal     The permission to develop a mining project
government jurisdiction. There is separate            is decided on its eventual environmental
mining rights legislation for each of the 10          legacy and community sustainability. The
Canadian provinces and the Yukon, with the            environmental impact assessment is meant to
Canada Mining Regulations applying in the             demonstrate how the development will affect
Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Indian             the environment during mine operations and
Mining Regulations apply on Indian Reserves.          mine closure. The socio-economic assessment
                                                      evaluates the social and economic sustainability
                                                      during development, operations, and beyond
                                                      closure of the mine.
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                                   39

                                                    The following chart outlines the types of                            Other environmental impacts and mitigation,
                                                    environmental impacts possible during mine                           depending on where a development is located,
                                                    development.                                                         may include:
                                                                                                                         Potential Impacts:
                                                                                                                            • Loss of
                                          Environmental Impacts
                                                                                                                              and heritage
           Type                     Condition                                        Mitigation                               sites;
                      Construction of access roads and          Plan to minimize land disturbance due to roads
                      power lines; uncontrolled access to
                                                                                                                            • Impacts on
                      mine site                                 Install security gates                                        traditional and
                      Construction of buildings, workshops,     Use community feedback in design and layout of                non-traditional
                      processing plant, and permanent           buildings                                                     land use;
                      camp                                      Minimize land use
       Land use                                                                                                             • Impacts on
                      Bulk sampling and extensive drilling
                                                                Detailed planning to minimize land disturbance                water flows and
                                                                Fuel storage standards
                                                                                                                              quality; and
                      Fuel and chemical storage                 Spill plans                                                 • Impacts on fish and
                                                                Fuel management programs                                      fisheries.
       Air quality    Dust from roads and mining activities     Water roads to minimize dust emissions                   Mitigation:
                      Chemicals in water discharge, mud or
       Water          dirt getting into water bodies; erosion
                                                                Control drainage                                            • Protection of land
       quality                                                  Make sure discharge criteria are met                          and identification
                      Clean the water; control drainage
                                                                                                                              and protection of
                      Animals attracted to garbage and food
                                                                Waste management programs                                     archaeological
                                                                                                                              and heritage
       Wildlife                                                 Use environmental baseline work to understand wildlife
                      Migratory patterns affected by            activity in the area                                          sites;
                      presence of humans, noise from
                      aircraft, noise from blasting             Educate employees and contractors to understand their       • No hunting/
                                                                responsibilities towards wildlife
                                                                                                                              fishing zones
                                                                                                                              and wildlife
40                                                                                                                                              EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

     • Water quality monitoring and flow                                                         What Is an Environmental
       supplementation; and                                                                     Assessment?
     • Protection of spawning and rearing areas                                                 An environmental assessment (EA) is a
       and fish farming.                                                                         government-mandated (provincial, territorial,
                                                                                                federal) process to identify and assess the
What Environmental Studies                                                                      potential environmental effects of a project
Are Required?                                                                                   before it is built. The purpose of the assessment
                                                                                                is to minimize or prevent any negative
Environmental baseline studies are generally
                                                                                                environmental effects before they occur, and to
required to complete an environmental impact
                                                                                                mitigate the effects in order to reduce overall
assessment. They start as early as during the
                                                                                                impacts. Both federal and provincial laws require
advanced exploration stage. These studies
                                                                                                some form of EA process to be conducted
include developing a detailed description of the
                                                                                                due to the nature of regulatory authorizations
environment. Examples of surveys that may be
                                                                                                required by mining projects. This typically
completed include:
                                                                                                leads to concurrent provincial and federal EAs
                                                                                                harmonized under one EA. In the North, most
• Archaeology *                             • Socio-economic
                                                                                                mining projects are assessed by impact review
• Land use                                  • Air quality                                       boards established by federal statutes.

• Water quality                             • Aquatic resources (fisheries)                      The result of the environmental assessment is not
                                                                                                to approve the project, but to show to responsible
• Surface and ground
                                            • Hydrogeology                                      authorities that the environmental impacts are
  water hydrology
                                                                                                understood and can be mitigated. At the end of
• Vegetation                                • Noise
                                                                                                the assessment, the project may be approved in
• Wildlife                                  • Soils                                             principle, but it will still need permits before it
                                                                                                can be built.
• Administrators                            • Acid rock drainage/metal leaching
                                                                                                In a typical environmental assessment process,
• Traditional knowledge                     • Fish habitats
                                                                                                there are mandatory elements for public
• Terrain                                                                                       participation. For federal environmental
                                                                                                assessments, public participation is mandatory
* Example: A scientist may survey the land for burial sites and historical land use patterns.
                                                                                                for comprehensive assessments, but not for
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                         41

                                                    screenings. This involvement is required to start      • Conducting
                                                    when an application (project submission) is              analysis and
                                                    submitted. Usually, the public and Aboriginal            preparing an
                                                    groups are contacted earlier in the process.             environmental
                                                    The Canadian Environmental Assessment
                                                    Act (CEA Act) explains the full process that
                                                    must be followed for federal environmental             • Reviewing the
                                                    assessments. It explains when an environmental           environmental
                                                    assessment is necessary and the responsibilities         assessment
                                                    of the federal departments. Some of the                  report by federal
                                                    departments of the Government of Canada have             departments;
                                                    to give approvals for certain components of a
                                                                                                           • Making of environmental assessment
                                                    project. These departments, called Responsible
                                                                                                             decisions by Responsible Authorities; and
                                                    Authorities, are in charge of making sure that
                                                    an environmental assessment is completed.              • Implementing mitigation program and
                                                    They cannot give approvals for any part of the           monitoring (if required).
                                                    project until the environmental assessment is       Environmental assessments may make full
                                                    finished.                                            use of the traditional knowledge of Aboriginal
           Facts & Figures
                                                    Typically, the federal environmental assessment     people. The mining company is responsible
       Aboriginal people can work with              process includes:                                   for collecting traditional knowledge or making
       the mining company to ensure                                                                     possible its inclusion. Traditional knowledge
                                                       • Determining if an environmental
       that great care is taken to protect                                                              can be used to determine the environmental
                                                         assessment is required. It does not consider
       historical and sacred sites, as well                                                             effects and evaluate how serious they are.
                                                         the likely effects of the project, simply
       as migration routes and traplines,                                                               Traditional knowledge will also be used to
                                                         whether or not the legislation or act
       before mining starts.                                                                            select the ways to reduce environmental
                                                       • Identifying who could be involved;
                                                                                                        Laws at the federal, provincial and territorial
                                                       • Planning the environmental assessment;         (Yukon) levels specify when environmental
                                                                                                        assessments or impact reviews are required
                                                                                                        and how to do them. The Government of
42                                                                                                        EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

Canada will do an environmental                                             monitoring makes sure that
assessment when certain federal                                             a company’s Environmental
                                         Facts & Figures
authorizations are required. The                                            Management Plan is being
provinces and territories will do                                           implemented as proposed. The
                                      The West Kitikmeot/Slave Study
environmental assessments when        Society is a made-in-the-north
                                                                            objective of environmental
permits are needed under their        success story. It is a partnership    monitoring is to make sure
laws.                                 of Aboriginal and environmental       that all impacts are mitigated.
                                      organizations, government and         A mining company usually
In the case of a mining project,
                                      industry that wishes to make sure     performs the monitoring,
this means that there are             the effects of development on the     analyzes the results, and reports
often federal and provincial          environment, wildlife and people of   them to government agencies
environmental assessments that        the WKSS area are minimal and that
                                                                            or sometimes to community
are needed which are harmonized       northern people get the maximum
                                                                            monitoring agencies.
into one joint panel review. At the   benefits.
federal level, mining projects most   The partners formed a registered
                                                                            Environmental monitoring
often require an environmental        society in 1996 and developed an      during mine development
assessment or impact review           initial five-year research program     includes monitoring water flows
(in the North) because federal        called the West Kitikmeot/Slave       and quality, air quality, and
permits, authorizations or licences   Study (WKSS) to provide an            fish habitat, and can include
are required.                         information base necessary to         vegetation changes. Air quality
                                      examine the long- and short-term      is monitored for its potential
                                      effects of development in the WKSS
What Environmental                                                          impact on wildlife and humans.
                                      area. The initial WKSS research
Monitoring Is Required?               program ended on March 31,
                                                                            Scientists analyze these tests.
                                      2001. Since that time, the WKSS       Local people are often trained
Environmental monitoring is in
                                      has continued to fund several key     to carry out sampling and
place to provide early warning
                                      projects during the interim period    analysis procedures. As an
of negative impacts so that
                                      until regional monitoring systems     example, direct changes in
corrective actions can be quickly     are in place.                         plant communities are watched
put in place. Environmental
                                      (Source: www.wkss.nt.ca)              for, as well as the presence or
monitoring is usually a condition
                                                                            absence of non-native species.
of the environmental permitting
                                                                            Vegetation is sampled and
process. Environmental
                                                                            analyzed in a lab, particularly
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                                                                               43

                                                    for metal mines, for potential metals uptake and                                  What Are the Opportunities for
                                                    transfer to wildlife.                                                             Community Participation?
                                                                                                                                      Community input and information exchange
                                                    What Are the Potential Social
                                                                                                                                      should occur during each phase of the mining
                                                    Impacts?                                                                          cycle starting with exploration. During mine
                                                    While mine development brings opportunities                                       development, the importance of meaningful
                                                    for employment and business to a community, it                                    community input is critical. This is the time,
                                                    may also create new social issues or concerns for                                 before a project goes into operation, for
                                                    the community. The table below illustrates some                                   communities to “get their issues on the table”
                                                    of the positive and negative impacts of mine                                      and “say what they mean.” In other words,
                                                    development.                                                                      this is when communities can gain a complete

                                                                                                          Social Impacts
                                       Type                      Positive and Negative Effects                                                    Community Response
                                                           Less time to spend on traditional activities
                                         Shift work/                                                              Plan activities around work schedule
                            Social                         Workers and their families are separated for several
                                         rotational work                                                          Create support groups or programs to minimize the separation stress experienced by families
                                                           days or weeks
                                                           Increased business opportunities
                                         partnerships      Employment                                             Improve and enhance community infrastructure
                                         and alliances     Training opportunities                                 Work with the changing dynamics of the community
                                                           Adds wealth to a community
                            Economic                       Increased training and skill development
                                         Increased         Increased income                                       Use the positive working role models within the community
                                         employment        Creates positive role models                           Need to provide workshops on money management, saving of wages, banking, etc.
                                                           Widens the gap between the employed and
                                                           Increased population
                                         Strangers in                                                             Offer cultural awareness training, delivered by members of the community, to make sure new
                            Cultural                       Strains existing services
                                         the community                                                            people in the community understand its values and traditions
                                                           Worsens existing social problems
44                                                                                                  EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

                                  understanding     serious they are, and select ways to reduce any
                                  of the project,   negative effects.
                                  ensure that
                                  the developer     Consultation processes are designed to
                                  understands       incorporate input from communities and
                                  the potential     promote the sharing of information. To get the
                                  impacts           most out of consultations, communities can
                                  from their        prepare in advance by doing the following:
                              perspective and          • Identifying potential impacts that need to
                              knowledge base,            be considered in project development;
                              and raise issues
                              of community             • Conducting a skills inventory of residents
                              concern. In this           interested in working at the mine;
way, an environmental assessment can address           • Beginning skills training;
deficiencies in information and incorporate
                                                       • Identifying community business
necessary changes in mine planning. Once
                                                         opportunities and capacities;
a mine is operating, community input
and consultation focuses on monitoring                 • Identifying the service and labour needs of
the effectiveness of impact management                   the project;
plans (mitigation) established during the
                                                       • Setting up ways to communicate for
environmental assessment.
                                                         current and ongoing consultations (i.e.,
                                                         key contacts); and
Traditional knowledge is an area where
Aboriginal community input is significant.              • Assessing needs for advice and
Traditional knowledge provides information               information gathering.
about traditional land uses, alerts developers to
                                                    Additionally, having community development
migratory patterns of wildlife, and can inform
                                                    and infrastructure plans in place before
developers about sensitive areas (hunting
                                                    development will be of great value to the
areas, cultural sites, migratory routes, etc.).
                                                    community throughout the mine development
Traditional knowledge may also be used to help
                                                    process. Communities should enter into
identify environmental impacts, evaluate how
                                                    discussions with government agencies as early
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                      45

                                                    as possible during the licensing and permitting   2.4 Community Employment
                                                                                                          and Other Economic
                                                    To help communities in this area, provincial/
                                                    territorial authorities and federal government        Opportunities
                                                    departments may have programs to help
                                                                                                      This section identifies the employment and
                                                    communities and individuals take advantage
                                                                                                      economic opportunities available to Aboriginal
                                                    of opportunities during mine development.
                                                                                                      communities during mine development. It
                                                    Communities may decide to set up a number
                                                                                                      briefly describes the role of Impact and
                                                    of committees during the mine development
                                                                                                      Benefits Agreements, Joint Ventures, and
                                                    process to ensure impacts are recognized and
                                                                                                      Memoranda of Understanding. Ideas for
                                                    mitigated. Possible committees include:
                                                                                                      maximizing benefits are also included.
                                                       • A committee to review the environmental
                                                         impact statement;
                                                       • Environmental and socio-economic
                                                                                                                     Facts & Figures
                                                         monitoring committees;
                                                                                                                 The Voisey’s Bay Nickel Mine in
                                                       • Community wellness committee;
                                                                                                                 Labrador surpassed all expectations
                                                       • Business development opportunities                      for Aboriginal employment during
                                                         committee;                                              its mine development phase. Since

                                                       • Training/hiring committee; and                          2002, Aboriginal employees have
                                                                                                                 filled more than 1100 construction
                                                       • Community sustainability upon mine                      jobs. At its peak, nearly 500
                                                         closure.                                                Innu or Inuit were working at the
                                                                                                                 construction site.

                                                                                                                 (Source: Voisey’s Bay Nickel
                                                                                                                 Company, www.vbnc.com)
46                                                                                                                    EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

What Are the Employment                                                 Other employment sources are secondary
Opportunities?                                                          support industries and service providers.
Communities can experience huge increases                               The economic impacts due to increased
in employment during mine development                                   employment are significant to a community.
depending on the size of the mine. A wide                               Since many of the skills learned during mine
variety of jobs, from entry-level to professional,                      development are transferable, a community
are available during mine development (see                              can also benefit from the increased skill base
Jobs and Education Table). The mine developer                           of its residents.
and its contractors are the major employers.
                                                                                       What Are the Other
                         Jobs and Education                                            Economic Opportunities?
 Type of Job         Education Requirements                       Examples             Communities can experience
               Grade 12 education or equivalent                                        significant economic benefits
               If a community does not meet this, they can  Trades helpers             during mine development.
               talk to the mining company about waiving the                            The main benefits come
                                                            Heavy equipment
Entry-level    requirement for a period                                                from increased economic
               This can encourage young people to
                                                            Housekeeping services      opportunities. Communities
               stay in school and allow time to meet the
                                                                                       and the mining company should
                                                                                       work closely at the earliest
                                                           Warehouse technicians
               Grade 12 education or equivalent                                        opportunity to develop alliances
Semi-skilled                                               Administrative assistants
               Some work experience                                                    and partnerships in the areas
                                                           Trades occupations
                                                                                       of training, employment and
                                                           Trades occupations          business opportunities.
Skilled        College diploma or trades certification      Safety coordinators
                                                                                       A number of economic
                                                           Environmental technicians
                                                                                       opportunities for communities
                                                                                       exist during mine development,
                                                                                       including infrastructure
Professional   University degree                           Geologists                  development and the provision
                                                           Scientists                  of utilities. The following list
                                                           Accountants                 identifies just a few of the
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                      47

                                                    potential business opportunities available to           • “Are there good joint-venture partners
                                                    communities. It includes:                                 available?”
                                                       • Camp catering and housekeeping;                 The process of building a business base in a
                                                                                                         community takes time as capacity is developed.
                                                       • Site services;
                                                                                                         A good example of this comes from the
                                                       • Surveying;                                      Northwest Territories where two large diamond
                                                       • Construction services;                          mines were developed within five years of each
                                                                                                         other. As communities and local businesses
                                                       • Contract mining – both underground and          gained experience, they increased their capacity
                                                         open pit;                                       and were much better equipped to take advantage
                                                       • Supply of goods (e.g., safety equipment, oil,   of the opportunities presented by the second
                                                         gas);                                           development.

                                                       • Aircraft support – helicopters – fixed wing;     Businesses may grow when longer-term
                                                                                                         contracts become available during mine
                                                       • Airport maintenance;                            operation.
                                                       • Laboratory services;                            Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) may
                                                       • Environmental consulting; and                   be negotiated during the early stages of mine
                                                                                                         development. They are typically an agreement
                                                       • A legacy project, like an arena or swimming     between a mining company and the community
                                                         pool.                                           and include information about the role of each
                                                    Business opportunities will increase as a project    party. MOUs may develop into an accord and
                                                    moves through the steps of mine development.         possibly a legal agreement (e.g., an Impact
                                                    Communities should prepare to take part by           and Benefits Agreement [IBA]) as the project
                                                    asking these questions:                              progresses.
                                                       • “What businesses are currently available?”      Once a company has made a commitment
                                                                                                         to develop a property, it should begin the
                                                       • “What businesses are required?”                 process of developing IBAs or Participation
                                                       • “What are the capabilities of the               Agreements (PAs) with local affected Aboriginal
                                                         community?”                                     communities. IBAs or PAs are often created
48                                                                                                 EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

between Aboriginal communities and mining            There are many successful JVs. These can
companies. These agreements might include            provide:
guidelines for hiring, business opportunities, and
                                                        • Helicopter support;
training and scholarships. An IBA or PA may
make provisions for the preferential hiring of          • Catering; and
                                                                                                                  Facts & Figures
Aboriginal persons and may discuss how and              • Contract mining services.
when community members will receive training.                                                                 The Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company
An agreement will also likely explain the            One of the largest and most successful JVs is the
                                                                                                              negotiated separate Impact and
tendering process for business contracts and will    NUNA group where a contract mining company
                                                                                                              Benefits Agreements with the
outline any preferential treatment for Aboriginal/   has established a working relationship with the
                                                                                                              Innu Nation and the Labrador
community businesses and require unbundling          Inuit of Nunavut. Another example is Rescan
                                                                                                              Inuit Association (LIA). These
(breaking up) of larger contracts.                   Tahltan Environmental Consultants (RTEC).
                                                                                                              agreements establish specific
                                                     It is an environmental consulting joint venture
These agreements become confidential legal            between Rescan and the Tahltan Nation.                   employment objectives for
contracts. They will only be made public if                                                                   Aboriginal people and identify
agreed to by the community and the mining            JVs are an excellent way to develop local                specific business opportunities for
company.                                             business capacity to prepare for and take                Aboriginal companies and joint
                                                     advantage of business opportunities related to           ventures.
Aboriginal businesses can enter into a joint         mine development. Through a JV, a community
venture with established businesses. A joint         business can increase the scope of its current           Aboriginal companies were awarded
venture (JV) is a simple business arrangement        services in order to help meet the service and           procurement/construction contracts
between two companies or between an                  support needs of the mine developer. JVs may             worth more than $500 million.
Aboriginal community and a company capable           be developed related to logistics support, the
of supplying services or materials to an                                                                      (Source: Voisey's Bay Nickel
                                                     provision of goods and services, and a number            Company, www.vbnc.com)
exploration or mining company.                       of other areas, such as catering, fuel supply,
A JV agreement defines the relationship between       housekeeping, and environmental consulting.
the two parties and specifies the training and        In addition to increased business opportunities,
employment opportunities. It also defines how         JVs can also increase training opportunities for
profits from the JV business activities will be       community residents.
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities                                                                                                                                        49

                                                    2.5 Community Experiences: Musselwhite Mine
                                                    The Musselwhite mine is located in northwestern Ontario on                 • A maximum production capacity to ensure the benefit of
                                                    traditional First Nation land. Mine construction began in early 1996         the mine extended over a substantial period of time.
                                                    and was completed by April 1997. The mine started commercial
                                                    gold production in 1997. As of 2005, cumulative production             The Agreement also outlined compensation arrangements for
                                                    exceeded 1.7 million ounces.                                           North Caribou Lake First Nation trappers whose livelihood would be
                                                                                                                           affected by mine development.
                                                    The Musselwhite mine is a joint venture owned by Placer Dome
                                                    (68%) and Kinross Gold Corporation (32%). Placer Dome is the           The Musselwhite Agreement was vital in establishing the terms
                                                    operator of the Musselwhite joint venture.                             for the development of the mine. Essentially, it represented that
                                                                                                                           the local First Nations communities were giving the JVs a “social
                                                    Musselwhite’s relationships and agreements with the local              licence to operate.” This agreement ensured local First Nations
                                                    communities are recognized as leading practices.                       support for the project throughout the permitting process.
                                                    Community Summary and                                                  Construction (1996–1997)
                                                    Involvement                                                            Having completed the mine design, developed a financially
                                                    The Cat Lake First Nation, North Caribou Lake First Nation,            viable plan and obtained the necessary permitting, the JVs
                                                    Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Wunnumin Lake First Nation,               started the construction phase of mine development. Although
                                                    Shibogama First Nations Council, and Windigo First Nations             the construction phase was relatively brief, it had the greatest
                                                    Council signed the first Musselwhite Agreement in 1992 with the         impact in the short term and, if mishandled, had long-term
                                                    Musselwhite Joint Venturers (JVs). The federal and provincial          implications. During construction, the JVs identified five key
                                                    governments also participated and signed the Agreement.                objectives:
                                                    Musselwhite Agreement                                                      1. To build the mine safely;
                                                    The Musselwhite Agreement addressed these important topics:                2. To build the mine in an environmentally sensitive manner;
                                                        • Preservation of the environment and heritage of the mine             3. To build the mine in harmony with surrounding
                                                          area;                                                                    communities;
                                                        • Local employment and business development                            4. To build the mine on budget; and
                                                          opportunities; and
                                                                                                                               5. To build the mine on schedule.
                                                        • Ensuring that communities received economic and other
                                                                                                                           JVs, First Nation communities, employees, contractors and
                                                          benefits from the mine.
                                                                                                                           government all worked together, within the terms specified in the
                                                    The Agreement contained sections relating to:                          Agreement, to achieve the goals.
                                                        • Financing of community projects;                                 Lessons Learned
                                                        • A preferred hiring policy for members of the signatory First     The mine operator and First Nations communities learned a
                                                          Nations; and                                                     number of lessons during the mine development phase.
50                                                                                                                                   EXPLORATION • DEVELOPMENT • OPERATION • CLOSURE

1. The Value of a Healthy Relationship                                         seeking work. Additionally, the JV insisted that outside
                                                                               contractors hire and train First Nation residents as a
  This was a lesson learned many times over. Problems that                     requirement to working on the construction site.
  happened during the mine development phase were identified
  and resolved amicably. Resources and valuable time were not           Both First Nation and Musselwhite representatives stress
  wasted due to unnecessary work stoppage or by resolving               personal relationships as crucial to making the Agreement
  issues in court.                                                      work. Most people agree that the mutual respect between both
                                                                        parties was essential to resolving disputes.
  Dialogue between the mine operator and First Nations that
  started during the exploration phase carried on throughout            A First Nation negotiator is credited with saying “It is not what
  mine development and beyond. This ongoing communication               is in the agreement. You can write what you want. It is about
  led to a respectful relationship between the two parties.             the special personal relationship that helps to overcome legal
  Cultural and historic awareness of the local context was an           obstacles.” On the other side, a JV representative stated,
  important realization in forming a relationship.                      “Simply sticking to the narrowly defined terms of the agreement
                                                                        does not work. In order to make the agreement work you also
2. The Musselwhite Agreement                                            need to address issues that are not directly related. You need
  This agreement became a guide for participants on how the             to be seen as a flexible, concerned and trustworthy partner.”
  mine would be built and operated.
                                                                      3. A Commitment to a Long-Term Partnership
  Because the document contained input from the JV and
                                                                        The sense that the JV and First Nation people are in a
  First Nations, both parties had ownership for the outcome
                                                                        long-term committed partnership is the glue that holds the
  of mine development and were committed to its success.
                                                                        relationship together. JV management publicly committed
  Misunderstandings did occur and the intent of the Agreement
                                                                        to accept its corporate responsibility to make Musselwhite
  became the basis for resolving issues. To help resolve issues,
                                                                        a safe and profitable mine while respecting the environment
  the Agreement stipulated that various committees be formed
                                                                        and social progress, and without compromising communities,
  to monitor performance and ensure the spirit of the Agreement
                                                                        wellness or security. They also committed to the integration
  was being fulfilled.
                                                                        of best-practice standards for occupational health, safety,
  The following are two examples of how disputes were resolved:         and environmental protection for all activities at the mine site
                                                                        from development through to closure. In return, First Nation
      • Discovery of a tar-like substance found in a river              communities supported the JV during the mine development
        draining the property led to concern that an oil spill into     phase by providing labour, goods and services, and their
        the environment had gone unreported. A commitment               much-needed support for mine development during the formal
        to operate a joint monitoring program with JV and First         permitting process.
        Nation personnel restored faith in the program and
        trust in the relationship when it was discovered that the       For more information, contact:
        unknown substance was mosquito larva.
      • Achieving First Nation employment as specified in
        the Agreement was problematic. Ambitious training
        programs were undertaken for First Nation people

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