Back River Mine Project: closed consultation

Current status: Closed

This consultation ran from May 2019 to July 2019.

We sought comments from Indigenous groups and the public on proposed amendments to the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulations (MDMER) for the Back River Mine Project.

Sabina Gold & Silver Corporation (the Proponent) is proposing to develop an open-pit and underground gold mine (the Project) located approximately 400 kilometers (km) southwest of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The Project is located predominantly within the Queen Maud Gulf watershed in the western Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut.

The objective of the amendments is to authorize the use of the water bodies frequented by fish for mine waste disposal.

To offset the loss of fish and fish habitat due to the Project, the Proponent is required to develop and implement a Fish Habitat Compensation Plan.

Who was the focus of this consultation

What we heard

In February and March 2019, we reached out to key stakeholders identified by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) as being impacted by the Project (note that the Project did not undergo a federal environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, but was subject to an environmental assessment under the NIRB).

The Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA), the main Inuit association involved in the Project, signaled its support for the regulatory proposal and subsequent authorization for mine waste disposal for the Project, including the streamlining of the approvals process (i.e., shortened approval timeline).

Upon approval by the Governor in Council, a Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement will be published in the Canada Gazette, along with the amendments to Schedule 2 of the MDMER, and will include a more detailed summary of the consultations for this regulatory proposal.

Related information

Contact us

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Manager, Mining Section
Mining and Processing Division
351 boul. St-Joseph, 11th floor
Gatineau QC  K1A 0H3


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