The Minister of Environment and Climate Change approves the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Mining Project
August 10, 2021 — Ottawa — Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
The Government of Canada conducts rigorous impact assessments based on science and Indigenous knowledge.
Following a thorough environmental assessment conducted by the Joint Assessment Committee, comprised of representatives from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) and the Cree Nation Government, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has agreed with the conclusions of the Committee's Environmental Assessment Report and has decided that the proposed Rose Lithium-Tantalum Mining Project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account. Therefore, the project is allowed to proceed.
Today, Minister Wilkinson issued a Decision Statement to this effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012). The Minister's Decision Statement establishes 221 legally binding conditions with which the proponent must comply throughout the life of the project. These conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds and birds at risk, wetlands, woodland caribou, bats at risk and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by the Crees.
The Government of Canada would like to thank all participants for their invaluable comments received throughout the environmental assessment process, as well as all the robust scientific advice received from various experts. The consultations carried out as part of the environmental assessment of the proposed Rose Lithium-Tantalum Mining Project have advanced the relationship between the Government of Canada and the four Cree Nations, which reflects the Government of Canada's commitment to reconciliation.
The proponent, Critical Elements Corporation, will now have to complete its steps to obtain the other necessary permits and authorizations from federal departments as well as from the Government of Quebec.
"Robust environmental assessment processes are designed to protect the environment and ensure that resource development is informed by science and consultations with the public and Indigenous peoples. These processes ensure that we can safely move forward with projects that will provide economic benefits to Canadians in an environmentally responsible manner. This project has the potential to benefit local communities and support the electrification of transportation by helping to meet the needs of the growing battery market."
— The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
The project is an open pit lithium and tantalum mine located approximately 38 kilometres north of the Nemaska Cree Nation's village, in Quebec, which would produce about 4,500 tonnes of ore per day for a lifespan of over 17 years.
Lithium is particularly sought after in the automotive sector, specifically for the production of batteries for hybrid and electric cars. Like tantalum, it is also used in electronic devices and for the storage of renewable energy. The proponent foresees economic benefits for the local Cree and non-Indigenous communities, particularly by the creation of quality jobs, business opportunities and purchasing of services and materials.
In 2019, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) and the Cree Nation Government signed the Agreement under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 (CEAA 2012) concerning the environmental assessments of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum Mining Project and the James Bay Lithium Mine Project. As part of the Agreement, they have delegated all required activities under CEAA 2012 to the Joint Assessment Committee comprised of Agency and Cree Nation Government representatives.
This environmental assessment is the first under CEAA 2012 to be jointly conducted by the Federal Government and the Cree Nation Government in accordance with the objectives of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. The second assessment conducted under the Agreement is underway for the James Bay Lithium Mine Project.
The Eastmain, Nemaska, Waskaganish and Waswanipi Cree Nations were consulted throughout the environmental assessment process, and a total of 86,224 dollars in funding was made available to support their participation in the various phases of the review.
- Minister's Environmental Assessment Decision Statement (Canadian Impact Assessment Registry)
- Environmental Assessment Report (Canadian Impact Assessment Registry)
- Basics of Environmental Assessment under CEAA 2012 (Impact Assessment Agency of Canada)
- Agreement Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 Concerning the Environmental Assessments of the Rose Lithium-Tantalum and James Bay Lithium Mine Projects
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Impact Assessment Agency of Canada
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