This is an official version.

Copyright © 2006: Queen’s Printer,
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Important Information
(Includes details about the availability of printed and electronic versions of the Statutes.)

Newfoundland Regulation 1999


NEWFOUNDLAND REGULATION 74/99

NEWFOUNDLAND REGULATION 74/99

Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited Mine
and Mill Undertaking Order
under the
Environmental Assessment Act
(O.C. 99-286)

(Filed August 23, 1999)

Under the authority of section 32 of the Environmental Assessment Act, on the recommendation of the Minister of Environment and Labour, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council makes the following Order.

Dated at St. John’s, August 5, 1999.

Gary Norris
Deputy Clerk of the Executive Council

ORDER

Analysis


        1.   Short title

        2.   Permission to proceed

        3.   Conditions of proceeding

Appendix


Short title

        1. This Order may be cited as the Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited Mine and Mill Undertaking Order.

Permission to proceed

        2. Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited ("VBNC") is permitted to proceed with the VBNC Mine and Mill undertaking (the "Project"), as described in the Appendix to this Order, subject to the terms and conditions set out in section 3.

Conditions of proceeding

        3. VBNC shall

             (a)  abide by all commitments made by VBNC in the Environmental Impact Statement dated December 1997, the Environmental Impact Statement Additional Information dated June 1, 1998, and the submissions made by VBNC during the Voisey’s Bay Environmental Assessment Panel ("Panel") hearings and, subsequent to the hearings, to the Panel, unless one or more of the commitments, or a part of a commitment is specifically waived by the Minister of Environment and Labour;

             (b)  obtain and abide by the requirements of all licences, permits, approvals, certificates or other documents of authorization required by law;

             (c)  without limiting the generality of paragraph (b), prepare and abide by the requirements of environmental protection plans for all phases of the Project and those plans shall be submitted for the approval of the Minister of Environment and Labour prior to the commencement of an activity which is associated with or may affect one or more of the following matters:

                      (i)  dust management,

                     (ii)  site water management,

                    (iii)  sludge management and tailings disposal,

                    (iv)  waste rock and acid-generating rock,

                     (v)  management and rehabilitation of the open pit,

                    (vi)  water quality and quantity,

                   (vii)  marine sedimentation,

                  (viii)  transportation, storage and handling of hydrocarbons,

                    (ix)  plant community and terrain disturbance,

                     (x)  forest fire prevention and suppression,

                    (xi)  caribou,

                   (xii)  black bears,

                  (xiii)  polar bears,

                  (xiv)  harlequin ducks,

                   (xv)  raptors,

                  (xvi)  wildlife habitat, and

                 (xvii)  historic resources;

             (d)  without limiting the generality of paragraph (b), prepare and abide by the requirements of

                      (i)  emergency response plans,

                     (ii)  contingency plans, and

                    (iii)  occupational health and safety plans

for all phases of the Project, and those plans shall be submitted for the approval of the Minister of Environment and Labour prior to the commencement of an activity which is the subject of or associated with those plans;

             (e)  without limiting the generality of paragraph (b), prepare and abide by the requirements of environmental effects monitoring plans for all phases of the Project, and those plans shall be submitted for the approval of the Minister of Environment and Labour prior to the commencement of an activity which is associated with or may affect one or more of the following matters:

                      (i)  fresh water and marine water,

                     (ii)  sediment quality,

                    (iii)  metals and other contaminants,

                    (iv)  contaminant levels in country foods,

                     (v)  shellfish for metals, bacterial contamination and hydrocarbon tainting,

                    (vi)  black bears,

                   (vii)  polar bears,

                  (viii)  harlequin ducks,

                    (ix)  raptors,

                     (x)  aboriginal land use and culture,

                    (xi)  employment and business,

                   (xii)  local, regional and provincial economies,

                  (xiii)  community services and infrastructure, and

                  (xiv)  family and community;

              (f)  prepare and maintain a document which contains the licences, permits, approvals, certificates or other documents of authorization and which outlines and identifies the source or basis of all of the various terms and conditions under which the Project will operate and all commitments made by VBNC as identified in paragraph (a), including performance standards, financial assurances, targets, quotas and reporting procedures and submit it to the Minister of Environment and Labour;

             (g)  prepare and submit to the Minister of Environment and Labour an annual report describing the Project’s performance in delivering socio-economic benefits to  residents and businesses of the province;

             (h)  reimburse the Department of Environment and Labour for the province’s cost of the environmental assessment of the Project and the incremental costs that the province will incur with respect to monitoring of all phases of the Project, including site surveillance, compliance, environmental effects and socio-economic monitoring;

              (i)  to ensure full and fair benefits for the people of the province for training, employment, and the procurement of goods and services, prior to the tendering of future contracts associated with one or more phases of the Project, prepare and abide by benefits policies and procedures, developed in consultation with the government of the province and submitted to the appropriate government department for approval, including a supplier development strategy to be developed in consultation with representatives of aboriginal and Newfoundland and Labrador businesses and relevant provincial government departments, which supplier development strategy includes contract procurement procedures, supplier development initiatives and objectives for aboriginal and Newfoundland and Labrador businesses, and VBNC shall regularly monitor, evaluate and report its compliance with the approved benefits policies and procedures to the appropriate provincial government departments; and

              (j)  prepare, in consultation with the government of the province, submit to the appropriate government department for approval, and abide by, a women's employment plan containing measurable goals.


APPENDIX

Voisey’s Bay Nickel Company Limited Mine And Mill Undertaking

                   Voisey's Bay Nickel Company Limited (the "Proponent") is proposing to develop a nickel‑copper‑cobalt mine and mill in the vicinity of a place known to the Inuit of Labrador as Tasiujatsoak, to the Innu of Labrador as Kapukuanipant‑kauashat, which is also known as Voisey's Bay. The indicated mineral resource is estimated to be 150 million tonnes. The deposit consists of three ore bodies known as the Ovoid, the Eastern Deeps, and the Western Extension. The Ovoid would be mined using open pit techniques. The Western Extension and Eastern Deeps and related areas would be mined by underground techniques. The Eastern Deeps and Western Extension zones will require further underground exploration before details of a mining plan can be determined for those zones.  The ore would be processed to concentrate using conventional milling processes. The concentrate would then be shipped to a processing facility off‑site. This proposed development is hereinafter referred to as the "undertaking".  The proposed mine/mill would be located in northern Labrador, 35 km southwest of Nain and 79 km northwest of Utshimasits (Davis Inlet). The climate is subarctic with short summers and long winters. The surrounding terrain is rugged, with elevations ranging to 400 m above sea level. Most of the undertaking would be located in a sheltered valley connecting Anaktalak Bay, to the north, with Voisey's Bay to the south (Figure 1).

                   Disposal of tailings and waste rock would take place in valleys to the east of the mines. Valleys are largely forested, while upland areas consist predominantly of barren rock. The area drains to several watersheds which include watercourses supporting Arctic char and other fish populations. The undertaking would be carried out in an area subject to on‑going aboriginal land claims negotiations involving, (i)  Newfoundland and Labrador, Labrador Inuit Association, and Canada and, (ii) Newfoundland and Labrador, Innu Nation and Canada.   The undertaking, through its life cycle of underground exploration, construction, operation, decommissioning, and post-decommissioning,  includes open pit and underground mining facilities and operations, the construction and operation of storage and deposition areas for waste rock and overburden, mine site roads, borrow pits and quarries and their road access, an airstrip, a mill, tailings impoundment areas, an accommodations and services complex, a port site with shipping dock and concentrate storage building, maintenance and storage areas including equipment laydown and fuel storage areas, explosives storage and manufacturing facilities, a sewage treatment system, a power supply and distribution system, a water supply and distribution system, water diversion and drainage systems and communications systems. The undertaking includes the activities associated directly and indirectly with the above operations and infrastructure such as the transportation of personnel and supplies and the shipping of concentrate.

                   The Proponent proposes to mine 32 million tonnes of ore from the Ovoid using conventional methods. The waste rock would be stored near the open pit, or under a water cover, depending on its potential to generate acid.  Overburden would be removed and stored near the open pit.  Approximately two million tonnes of waste rock from the open pit is categorized as potentially acid generating and would be placed under a water cover. Discharge water from the mineralized waste rock disposal pond may need treatment.

                   Underground deposits would be mined by sinking shafts or other underground openings followed by blasting and load‑haul‑dump operations.  Approximately 15.2 million tonnes of waste rock from the underground mines is considered potentially acid generating and would be placed under water cover or used for underground construction or back fill.  Water from the open pit and underground mining sites, as well as drainage from waste rock and overburden piles would be collected and, if necessary, treated before discharge.

                   Ore would be transported to the mill and processed into concentrate using crushing, grinding, flotation, thickening, filtration, and drying processes.  Concentrate would be trucked to storage facilities at the port site at Anaktalak Bay and shipped for further processing.  The tailings produced during the concentrating process are potentially acid‑generating and would be placed under a permanent water cover to inhibit acid generation and leaching of metals.  Mine rock and tailings would be co-disposed in Headwater Pond during open pit mining.  During underground mining, tailings would be placed in the North Tailings Basin located about 10 km northeast of the plant site, and acid generating mine rock would continue to be placed in Headwater Pond.   Site development would include perimeter dams, control gates, access roads, surface water diversion and, if necessary, polishing pond.  Decant water would be reclaimed and recycled, with any excess water treated if necessary before discharge. Potable and fire‑fighting water would be obtained from groundwater wells in the Reid Brook basin. Power would be supplied by diesel power generation units. The airstrip would be located approximately 3.5 km south of Headwater Pond, and approximately 1.0 km north of Voisey’s Bay.  

                   The proposed shipping route extends from Edward’s Cove to the east end of Paul’s Island and then passes north of the Hens and Chickens.  It is proposed to ship using an extended shipping season that would entail no shipping during the period of initial ice formation and during early spring.  

                   Approximately 700 persons would be employed during construction of the undertaking.  Direct employment is estimated to be approximately 420 persons during open-pit operations and will increase during underground operations.  Workers would be transported to the site by air. Living accommodations would be provided on‑site. No town site is planned. 

                   The expected life of the undertaking is longer than 20 years and depends on the mineral resource and production rate. Upon mine closure, the site would be decommissioned and rehabilitated to return it to a safe and environmentally stable condition.  Progressive decommissioning and rehabilitation would commence at an early stage during mine development and would continue throughout the life of the mine.