Guidelines for mine waste disposal alternatives

Text Description of Figures

Text Description of Figure 1: Flow diagram of the process of assessing alternatives for mine waste disposal

Figure 1 provides a simple visual representation of the alternatives assessment process as it applies to proposed tailings impoundment areas. The seven steps are listed down the left side of the diagram and the criteria, analysis and deliverables are displayed from left to right across the diagram. Each of the seven steps of the process is described in detail in subsequent chapters of these guidelines.

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Text Description of Figure 2: Fish habitat compensation requirements in typical TIA scenarios

Figure 2 provides a simple visual representation of the rationale for the need for the two separate fish habitat compensation plans in the case where a tailings impoundment area is established in a stream valley. The tailings impoundment area is represented by a shaded oval shape and the stream is represented by a diagonal line across the oval, top left to bottom right.  The legend, located on the right side of the diagram, contains indicators for 1) the area where tailings will be deposited, 2) the tailings dam or other containment structure, 3) the stream, 4) the portion of the stream into which tailings would be deposited, and 5) the portion of the stream that would be impacted by construction of a tailings dam or other containment structure. The rationale, as depicted in this figure, is described in the text above the diagram.

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Text Description of Annex 4: Steps in the EA and Regulatory Processes

Annex 4 is a flow chart that depicts the steps in the EA and regulatory processes. This chart reads from top to bottom, with a series of boxes that depict a series of decisions in the EA process. Each decision box has two outcomes:  a "No" decision and a "Yes" decision. The "Yes" decision always leads to another decision box. The first box at the top of the chart represents a metal mine project proposal with a TIA proposed in a natural water body frequented by fish. The box below represents an EA which includes an assessment of alternatives and also concurrent activities, which are stakeholder consultations, Aboriginal consultation, compilation of information for the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement, and a preliminary Fish Habitat Compensation Plan. The box below represents the federal EA decision of either no or yes. The box below the word no represents the project proposal being rejected. The box below the word yes represents the TIA proposal being supported. The box below the TIA decision being supported represents the MMER Amendment Process which includes the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement and the Fish Habitat Compensation Plan. The box below represents the decision by Ministers and Treasury Board. The box to the left represents a decision of no. The box below represents the decision of yes, which includes publication in Canada Gazette I. The box below represents another decision by Ministers and Treasury Board. The box to the left represents a decision of no. The box below represents the decision of yes, which includes publication in Canada Gazette II and a listing on Schedule 2 of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations. The chart contains two notes of clarification on the left-hand side of the illustration. The first note states that an EA is determined by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and regulations or other EA regimes in the North. The second note states that the federal EA decision is based on the conclusion on significance of adverse environmental effects.

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