The Nunavut Impact Review Board has launched its re-assessment process for Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.’s Back River gold project with a Jan. 23 request to the mining company for updates to its Final Environmental Impact Statement, or FEIS.
“The NIRB believes that provision of an updated FEIS document or addendum by the proponent would be the most effective means of providing additional information and highlighting existing information regarding the effects assessment for the Back River Project…” the NIRB’s Jan. 23 letter said.
The NIRB confirmed its plans Jan. 24 to schedule a public hearing to consider the updated FEIS document. The letter comes on the heels of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett’s Jan. 12 letter, which sent the NIRB’s final public hearing report on the project back to the review board.
After a four-and-a half-year environmental assessment, the NIRB rejected the Kitikmeot gold mine proposal last year, noting certain environmental and social impacts it found too great to mitigate.
But Bennett said some of the report’s findings were “premature,” suggesting there was room for more discussion.
The NIRB has now asked Sabina to focus its updated FEIS on the findings the federal minister flagged as “uncertain” in her decision: the potentially adverse ecosystemic effects on caribou and other terrestrial wildlife; the freshwater aquatic environment; the marine environment; water quality (ground and surface) and climate and meteorology.
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