Permitting

Permitting

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Update - July 2017

Iqaluit Small Craft Harbour -- NIRB project screening application SCH
Iqaluit Deep Water Port -- NIRB project screening application DWP

The Iqaluit Deep water port and its timeline to construction is a  key piece of critical infrastructure and it is a critical path for the development of Chidliak. The links above show some key timelines for construction of both the harbour for small craft and the much larger deep water port

Sabina Silver just rec'd a positive recommendation from the NIRB (July 18th, 2017), see below on project 4 for a timeline of events.
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Once a project gets past the green light from an economic point of view, one of the next big items is to get a mine permit and a permit to use water.

That is where the NIRB (Nunavut Impact Review Board), the NWB (Nunavut Water Board), and final approve from a federal Minister come into the picture.

Chidliak has already worked through the NIRB (bulk sample programmes) and the NWB (water use permits) since the inception of the project. The PEA (preliminary economic assessment) will be out in a few months and subsequent to that continued permitting work, especially toward a final mine permit will take place.

What does the timeline look like? It makes sense to go back in history to see what has happened on other projects.

Project 1 - Tahera - jericho diamond mine.
The permit and permitting was completed before the current generation of review, so the timeline is not very relevant.

Project 2 - Cumberland Resources = Meadowbank (now operated by Agnico Eagle Mines)

Jan 13th, 2005 - Submission of Draft EIS (environmental impact statement). DEIS summarized a 9 year commitment to environment baseline studies.
April 25th, 2006 - NIRB request for further information (specifically - aspects of conventional road access and socio-economic impacts specifically for the chesterfield inlet residents). NIRB mentions that they don't really want to delay the project. Cumberland says they will respond during the next 4 to 6 weeks..but this delay could affect the shipping season.
Aug. 31st, 2006 - NIRB approves and recommends project go ahead.
Oct 9th, 2006 - Approved federally.
Nov 2nd, 2006 - Cumberland raises $87 million in a financing
Feb. 14th, 2007 - Agnico Eagle mines buys out Cumberland resources.
Feb. 22nd, 2007 - NWB water permit issued for road construction to start.

Project 3 - Hope Bay - Miramar Mining (now operated by TMAC resources)

mid-2004 - Initial Draft EIS submitted. First one under the updated regulations.
Aug 20th, 2004 - NIRB says no to DEIS. Not enough information. Specifically relating to Caribou herd, quality of water at nearby lake, and fish life in a local jetty.
June 21st, 2005 - 2nd Draft EIS submitted.
March, 2006 - NIRB approves and recommend project go ahead.
Aug 2nd, 2006 - Approved federally.
Sept 27th, 2007 - NWB water permit issued.
Dec 2nd, 2007 - Newmont acquires Miramar Mining.

Project 4 - Sabina - Backriver

2012 - Work on permitting starts
Jan. 2014 - Draft EIS submitted
Nov 23rd, 2015 - Final EIS submitted - FEIS contains 6 years of scientific studies.
Q2, 2016 - Public hearings
2nd half, 2016 - Potential approval
June 16, 2016 --> NIRB Recommendation - not approved at this time.
July 18th, 2017 --> NIRB Recommendation - approved (submitted to federal govt)
August/September, 2017 --> Submitting for NWB water permit
January 2018 - Estimated time for NWB water permit approval

Project 5 - Areva - Kiggavik

Dec 2011 - Draft EIS submitted
Jan 20th, 2012 - NIRB gives Draft EIS a failing grade.
April 1st, 2012 - New Draft EIS
May 8th, 2015 - NIRB does not recommend project be approved.

Project 6 - Baffinland Iron Mines - Mary River (now operated by Arcelor mittal/US investment company)

There was a lot of flip flopping here on size of operation and whether they could send a train to the south or north. They are mining currently, but still going through permits on building or not building a railway train.
This is a more of an infrastructure/materials handling project. There is no real mill or tailings to be heard of. Iron ore is drill, blasted, trucked and sailed away from the island.

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Can anything be taken from above?

One is the road comment on the Cumberland resources which points to a significant permitting topic for an all season road at Chidliak.

The emphasis of a lengthy environmental baseline is very important in the permitting process. Ranging from 6 years to 9 years in a couple of the projects above. Chidliak started independent environmental baseline studies in 2009 and continue each and every year. 2016 will be year 7.

Uranium is a tough sell for permitting in any of the northern territories. There was uranium mining in the north in the middle of last century that left some ill-effects to many locals. Chidliak is a diamond project, not a uranium project. This is a good thing.

The 2 approved gold mines and 1 in progress will all have extensive milling and tailing criteria in all aspects of permitting. Milling at a diamond mine entails mostly crushing related phases. Not nearly as environmentally sensitive as the gold milling processes. This is another good thing.

The road construction will not be as heavily used as Mary River's road (100 km road). It will mostly be used for bringing in goods and supplies and equipment and together with a deep water port, this could theoretically could be completed year round and that would spread out the load.

Next steps will be to finalize a plan to go into a draft EIS. I suspect it is better to add the extra pit (CH-44) and get a permit for it, even if it isn't in the PEA/PFS/FS as you can choose to include it in the mine plan anytime instead of supplying for a new permit or adjusting the permit to include it later on. Get the most details in the initial mine permit. Subsequent additions could take another 2 or 3 years.

The timeline looks pretty good to work with the NIRB/NWB on the permitting process. Sabina should be wrapping up as Chidliak gets full steam ahead in the permitting process. These permitting organizations can regularly be understaffed for the outstanding work that is needed and that is one problem as to why these can get delayed.

Taking a step earlier in the process, there would be synergies to the project in bringing in a DMS unit to restrict the need to send 100's of tonnes of bulk sample all the way to the SRC.  A mobile DMS unit would still need a mini-permitting process to occur. That might be the first step after the PEA...but would run parallel in the big permit needed for a diamond mine on Baffin Island.

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