Noront’s [Ring of Fire] mine proposal under microscope – by Northwest Bureau (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 16, 2011)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is accepting public comments on the proposed Eagle’s Nest project in the Ring of Fire. Noront Resources Ltd. has proposed a base-metal mining project in the area, in the James Bay Lowlands.

The agency has prepared draft environmental impact statement guidelines that identify potential environmental effects to be addressed and information that needs to be included in the proponent’s statement.

The federal and provincial governments are co-ordinating their respective processes for the comprehensive environmental assessment of the project.

Noront is proposing an 11-year, 2,960-tonne-per-day, underground nickel-copper-platinum mine, to be located 500 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

The proposal also includes an underground concentrate processing facility, an all-season access road from Pickle Lake to Webequie Junction, a concentrate pipeline from Webequie Junction to the mine site and an ancillary mine infrastructure.

Public comments on the draft guidelines will be reviewed and considered before the document is finalized, the agency says. Deadline for comment is Dec. 16.

The agency said Tuesday in a news release that this is the first of several public comment periods that will occur during the environmental assessment.

In addition, a total of $40,000 is available to assist groups and individuals who want to participate in the federal environmental assessment.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

For more information about this project, or to review the draft guidelines, visit www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca. The registry reference number is 11-03-63925.

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