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Mining and Ecological Reclamation : A Closure Plan

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Appendix 18. Mine Closure Plan FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT MINE CLOSURE PLAN 01238D_3_V3 MAY 2021 ERIAS GROUP PTY LTD WWW.ERIASGROUP.COM ACN 155 087 362 MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA 13-25 CHURCH STREET HAWTHORN, VICTORIA, 3122 P +61 3 9208 6700 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA 22B BEULAH ROAD NORWOOD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, 5067 P +61 419 012 698 BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA LEVEL 6, 307 QUEEN STREET BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND, 4000 P +61 419 419 134 PAPUA NEW GUINEA ERIAS GROUP PNG LIMITED C/O THE LODGE LEVEL 3 BRAMPTON STREET, GRANVILLE, PORT MORESBY, NATIONAL CAPITAL DISTRICT, 121 P +61 417 564 702 PNX Metals Fountain Head Gold Project Mine Closure Plan 01238D_3_v3, May 2021 13–25 Church Street Hawthorn, Victoria, 3124 Australia P +61 3 9208 6700 E info@eriasgroup.com W eriasgroup.com MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 II Client Contact: Craig Wilson Craig.wilson@pnxmetals.com.au ERIAS Contact: Kate Sinai kate.sinai@eriasgroup.com ERIAS Alternative Contact: David Browne david.browne@eriasgroup.com Document Date Compiled by Checked by Authorised by 01238D_3_v1 12/05/2021 J. Tanner D. Browne D. Browne 01238D_3_v2 25/05/2021 J. Tanner D. Browne D. Browne 01238D_3_v3 26/05/2021 J. Tanner D. Browne D. Browne MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 III Table of Contents Chapters Glossary ...................................................................................................................................... VIII Abbreviations ............................................................................................................................. VIII 1. Introduction ......................................................................................................................... 1–1 1.1 Project Proponent .......................................................................................................... 1–1 1.2 Project History and Status ............................................................................................. 1–1 1.3 Scope and Purpose ....................................................................................................... 1–2 1.4 Objectives ...................................................................................................................... 1–2 1.5 Mine Closure Consultant ............................................................................................... 1–2 2. Project Overview ................................................................................................................ 2–1 2.1 Project Location ............................................................................................................. 2–1 2.2 Project Summary ........................................................................................................... 2–1 2.2.1 Historical Disturbance ............................................................................................ 2–4 2.2.2 Project Interaction with Pre-existing Site Conditions .............................................. 2–4 2.2.3 Project Layout ........................................................................................................ 2–6 2.3 Mining ............................................................................................................................ 2–6 2.3.1 Mine Schedule ........................................................................................................ 2–6 2.3.2 Pit Design ............................................................................................................... 2–6 2.3.3 Existing Waste Rock Storage ................................................................................. 2–7 2.3.4 Integrated Waste Landform .................................................................................... 2–9 2.3.5 PAF Stockpile ......................................................................................................... 2–9 2.4 Processing Plant ...................................................................................................... 2–11 2.5 Associated Infrastructure Construction .................................................................... 2–11 3. Closure Obligations and Commitments ........................................................................... 3–1 3.1 Terms of Reference ....................................................................................................... 3–1 3.2 Leading Practice ............................................................................................................ 3–3 MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 IV 3.2.1 International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) ............................................... 3–3 3.2.1 Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program in the Mining Industry: Mine Closure 3–4 3.3 Western Australia Guidelines ........................................................................................ 3–4 3.4 NT Mining Management Act 2001 ................................................................................. 3–4 3.5 Mine Lease Requirements ............................................................................................. 3–4 3.6 Legal Obligations Register ............................................................................................ 3–5 4. Stakeholder Engagement .................................................................................................. 4–1 4.1 Stakeholder Engagement .............................................................................................. 4–1 5. Baseline Data Analysis ...................................................................................................... 5–1 5.1 Existing Land Use .......................................................................................................... 5–1 5.2 Geology and Land Systems .......................................................................................... 5–1 5.3 Geochemistry ................................................................................................................ 5–2 5.3.1 Existing Waste Rock .............................................................................................. 5–2 5.3.2 Waste Rock from the Fountain Head Pit ................................................................ 5–2 5.3.3 Ore ......................................................................................................................... 5–2 5.3.4 Tailings ................................................................................................................... 5–3 5.4 Climate .......................................................................................................................... 5–3 5.5 Ecology .......................................................................................................................... 5–5 6. Closure Planning ................................................................................................................ 6–1 6.1 Closure Vision ............................................................................................................... 6–1 6.2 Closure Domains ........................................................................................................... 6–1 6.2 Post-mining Land Use(s) ............................................................................................... 6–3 6.3 Closure Objectives and Completion Criteria .................................................................. 6–3 6.4 Closure Strategy ............................................................................................................ 6–4 6.4.1 Process Plant ......................................................................................................... 6–4 6.4.2 Supporting Infrastructure ........................................................................................ 6–5 MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 V 6.4.3 Integrated Waste Landform .................................................................................... 6–6 6.4.4 Open Pit ................................................................................................................. 6–7 6.4.5 Evaporation Pond ................................................................................................. 6–10 6.4.6 Fountain Head Lake ............................................................................................. 6–11 6.4.7 Access Roads ...................................................................................................... 6–11 6.4.8 Historic Disturbance ............................................................................................. 6–12 6.5 Closure Materials Balance ........................................................................................... 6–13 6.6 Information Gaps and Further Assessment ................................................................. 6–13 6.6.1 Pit Water Quality .................................................................................................. 6–13 6.6.2 Species for revegetation. ...................................................................................... 6–13 6.6.3 Management of long-term surface flows .............................................................. 6–14 6.6.4 Geochemistry ....................................................................................................... 6–14 6.7 Alternatives Considered .............................................................................................. 6–15 7. Closure Risk Assessment ................................................................................................. 7–1 8. Closure Implementation ..................................................................................................... 8–1 8.1 Schedule ........................................................................................................................ 8–1 8.2 Topsoil Management and Progressive Rehabilitation ................................................... 8–2 8.3 Temporary or Sudden Mine Closure Planning .............................................................. 8–2 9. Closure Monitoring and Maintenance .............................................................................. 9–1 9.1 Monitoring Program ....................................................................................................... 9–1 9.2 Maintenance .................................................................................................................. 9–1 10. Responsibilities and Financial Provisioning ................................................................. 10–1 10.1 Closure Responsibilities ........................................................................................... 10–1 10.2 Financial Provisioning .............................................................................................. 10–1 11. References ........................................................................................................................ 11–1 MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 VI Tables Table 1.1 – Proponent Contact Details ........................................................................................ 1–1 Table 1.2 – Consultant Contact Details ....................................................................................... 1–3 Table 2.1 – Project Phases and Components ............................................................................. 2–1 Table 2.2 – Project Infrastructure and Land Clearing on the Project Area .................................. 2–6 Table 2.3 – Fountain Head Pit Materials ...................................................................................... 2–6 Table 2.4 – Pit and Haul Road Design Preliminary Parameters .................................................. 2–7 Table 2.5 – IWL Parameters ........................................................................................................ 2–9 Table 3.1 – Information Required in the Conceptual MCP .......................................................... 3–1 Table 3.2 – Key environmental factors from the TOR .................................................................. 3–3 Table 5.1 – Project Disturbance ................................................................................................... 5–1 Table 5.2 – Vegetation Associated with Each Habitat Type Recorded in the Project Area. ........ 5–7 Table 6.1 – Project Closure Domains .......................................................................................... 6–1 Table 6.2– Process Plant Domain Strategy ................................................................................. 6–4 Table 6.3 – Supporting Infrastructure Domain Strategy ............................................................... 6–5 Table 6.4 – Integrated Waste Landform Domain Strategy ........................................................... 6–6 Table 6.5 – Current and Predicted Concentration of Pit Water Chemical Elements after 30 and 500 years ..................................................................................................................................... 6–9 Table 6.6 – Open Pit Domain Strategy ........................................................................................ 6–9 Table 6.7 – Evaporation Pond Domain Strategy ........................................................................ 6–10 Table 6.8 – Fountain Head Lake Domain Strategy .................................................................... 6–11 Table 6.9 – Access Roads Domain Strategy ............................................................................. 6–11 Table 6.10 – Historic Disturbance Domain Strategy .................................................................. 6–12 Table 6.11 – Materials Balance ................................................................................................. 6–13 Table 7.1 – Descriptor Used to Classify Consequence ............................................................... 7–1 Table 7.2– Descriptors Used to Classify Likelihood ..................................................................... 7–1 Table 7.3 – Significance Assessment Matrix ............................................................................... 7–2 MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 VII Table 8.1 – Mine Closure Schedule ............................................................................................. 8–1 Table 9.1 – Post-closure Monitoring Program ............................................................................. 9–3 Figures Figure 2.1 – Project Location ....................................................................................................... 2–2 Figure 2.2 – Project Layout .......................................................................................................... 2–3 Figure 2.3 – Existing Disturbance ................................................................................................ 2–5 Figure 2.4 – Proposed Fountain Head Pit and IWL in Comparison to Existing Pit and WRS ...... 2–8 Figure 2.5 – Conceptual IWL Design ......................................................................................... 2–10 Figure 5.1 – Temperature Range and Average Monthly Rainfall ................................................. 5–4 Figure 5.2 – Location of Habitat Types Within the Project Area .................................................. 5–6 Typical vegetation associated with each habitat type is described in Table 5.2. ......................... 5–7 Figure 6.1 – Project Closure Domains ......................................................................................... 6–2 Figure 6.2 – Predicted Groundwater Drawdown Levels .............................................................. 6–8 Plates Plate 2.1 – Existing Fountain Head Waste Rock Storage ............................................................ 2–7 Plate 5.1 – Open Forest on Alluvial Floodplain ............................................................................ 5–5 Plate 5.2 – Open Woodland on Sandstone Plain ......................................................................... 5–5 Plate 5.3 – Creek Lines and Riparian Zones ............................................................................... 5–5 Plate 5.4 – Pit Lakes and Tailings Dams ..................................................................................... 5–5 Plate 5.5 – Pastoral and Mining Impacted Habitat – Fountain Head Survey Area ...................... 5–5 Appendices/Attachments Appendix 1 Risk Assessment MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 VIII Glossary Term Definition Aspect A key theme or element of rehabilitation that needs to be addressed to meet closure objectives. Completion Criteria Agreed standards or levels of performance that indicate the success of rehabilitation and enable an operator to determine when its liability for an area is able to cease. Closure Domains Different landforms and infrastructure on the site, each having different rehabilitation and closure requirements. Closure Objectives Required outcomes, for each aspect, that will allow return of disturbed land to a safe, stable, non-polluting/ non-contaminating landform in an ecologically sustainable manner that is productive and/or self-sustaining and is consistent with the agreed post-mining land use. Post-mining land use The land use after the cessation of mining. Abbreviations Abbreviation Definition CIP Carbon-in-pulp DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources EIS Environmental Impact Statement IWL Integrated Waste Landform MCP Mine Closure Plan ML Mining Leases NAF Non-acid forming NOI Notice of Intent PAF Potentially acid-forming ToR Terms of Reference WRS Waste Rock Storage MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 1–1 1. Introduction 1.1 Project Proponent PNX Metals Limited (‘PNX Metals‘ or the ‘Company’) (ABN: 67 127 446 271), is a publicly listed, mineral exploration company (ASX: PNX) with a significant tenement portfolio of both base and precious metals, primarily in the Northern Territory, and also in South Australia. The Company’s main focus is developing two projects in the Pine Creek region of the Northern Territory: • The Fountain Head Gold Project (‘Fountain Head’), containing the Fountain Head gold deposit, which is located at the selected processing plant and tailings facility site for the Hayes Creek Project. • The Hayes Creek zinc-gold-silver Project (‘Hayes Creek’), comprising of 14 wholly-owned mineral leases including the Iron Blow and Mount Bonnie deposits. PNX Metals contact details for the Project are provided in Table 1.1. Table 1.1 – Proponent Contact Details Contact Phone Email Address James Fox Managing Director 08 8364 3188 info@pnxmetals.com.au Level 1, 135 Fullarton Road, Rose Park, South Australia 5067 1.2 Project History and Status In 2018, PNX acquired four mining leases (MLs) at Fountain Head (MLN4, MLN1020, MLN1034 and ML31124) with the objective of using Fountain Head as a site to construct a processing plant and tailings facility to treat ore from the Hayes Creek Project. During the 2018 field season, exploration drilling was undertaken to identify additional gold resources at the Fountain Head site. PNX published a Mineral Resource Estimate for the Project containing 2.58 Mt at 1.7 g/t Au for 138,000 oz Au (reported in accordance with the JORC Code, 2012, see ASX release 11 July 2019 for full details including JORC tables). Recent Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling efforts have confirmed new zones of broad, high-grade gold mineralisation intersected near surface in the area between the Fountain Head and Tally Ho mineral lodes over a strike extent of approximately 100 m. These zones have returned grades above the anticipated 0.5 g/t. PNX Metals is actively continuing exploration and further defining the resource. The Fountain Head area is part of the Northern Territory Goldfields where extensive mining and exploration activity dates back to the 1870s. Mining in the area was undertaken intermittently between 1883 and 1951. More recently a small open cut pit was excavated at the site by Dominion Mining in the 1990s. Northern Gold acquired the leases in 2001 and then in 2005, GBS Gold Australia acquired Northern Gold. GBS Gold mined the Fountain Head and Tally Ho deposits between 2007 to 2008. GBS Gold were mining at Fountain Head when they went into MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 1–2 receivership in August 2008, which saw the site placed in care and maintenance. No rehabilitation of the waste rock stockpile has been undertaken and the Fountain Head and Tally Ho pits (separate pits but joined by a bridge) flooded. Kirkland Lake Gold purchased the GBS Gold leases in November 2009. The site has remained under care and maintenance since 2009 with past activities leaving the site highly disturbed. PNX submitted a notice of intent (NoI) to the Northern Territory Environmental Protection Agency (NT EPA) for the Fountain Head Gold Project in December 2019. The final terms of reference (ToR) were issued on the 11 May 2020 and determined the Project would be assessed at the level of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the Environment Assessment Act. 1.3 Scope and Purpose This mine closure plan (MCP) has been prepared to meet the EIS terms of reference (ToR) issued by the NT EPA that require the draft EIS to include a conceptual MCP. This MCP provides the framework for closure of the Project according to the EIS ToR and Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans (DMP & EPA, 2015). The MCP will be reviewed and updated (as required) during the Project’s life considering additional Project detail, site conditions, progressive rehabilitation success and stakeholder engagement. The MCP will be submitted with the mining management plan, required under the Mining Management Act 2001 (see Section 3.4). 1.4 Objectives The objectives of this MCP are to: • Enable all stakeholders to have their interests considered during mine closure planning and for agreement to be reached on post-mining land use. • Ensure that the process of closure is orderly, cost-effective and timely. • Develop a schedule for the implementation of the plan. • Restore and return disturbed sites as close as possible to their original state or to an otherwise agreed end land use. • Ensure that the final land use is stable, safe, self-sustaining and non-polluting. • Establish a set of indicators that will demonstrate the successful completion of the closure. 1.5 Mine Closure Consultant PNX has engaged ERIAS Group Pty Limited (ERIAS) to assist in coordinating the environmental approvals for the Project. This includes preparation of this MCP. Contact details for ERIAS are provided in Table 1.2. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 1–3 Table 1.2 – Consultant Contact Details Contact Phone Email Address David Browne Principal 0419 012 698 david.browne@eriasgroup.com 22B Beulah Road, Norwood, South Australia 5067 MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–1 2. Project Overview 2.1 Project Location The Project is located approximately 170 km southeast of Darwin and approximately 13 km east of the Stuart Highway (Figure 2.1). Site access is via Fountain Head and Ban Ban Springs roads. The Alice Springs-Darwin Railway is immediately south of the Project. The Project is located on an operating cattle station (Ban Ban Springs Station) within a pastoral lease that is within three MLs (MLN4, MLN1034 and ML31124) (Figure 2.2). There is existing disturbance associated with historical exploration and mining activities (see Section 1.2). 2.2 Project Summary PNX proposes to recommence mining of the Fountain Head pit, gold will be extracted from the ore via a carbon-in-pulp (CIP) process to a produce gold doré. Dewatering of the Fountain Head void is required for mining to recommence. Mining can recommence before all the water has been removed and subsequently a staged approach to dewatering is proposed. Dewatering will need to be strictly scheduled and managed so that there are no mining and processing delays. Modelling shows that dewatering would need to commence approximately six months in advance for mining to begin as scheduled. An activity breakdown is provided in Table 2.1 below. Table 2.1 – Project Phases and Components Project Phase Activity Phase 1 – Dewatering • Dewatering of existing open pit • Remediation and extension of existing water storage dam (evaporation pond) walls Phase 2 – Construction, Mining, Processing • Expansion of existing open pit • Construction of the integrated waste landform (IWL) • Establishment of potentially acid-forming (PAF) waste rock stockpile adjacent to the pit • Construction of crushing facilities and gold processing plant (CIP) • Construction of supporting infrastructure, i.e., workshops, power station, roads, offices • Ongoing dewatering of the pit and evaporation pond • Mining of the pit, processing of ore, storage of waste rock and tailings in the IWL. • Progressive rehabilitation of exposed areas and the IWL. Phase 3 – Closure and Rehabilitation • Rehabilitation of the integrated waste landform (IWL) • Backfilling of potentially acid forming waste rock into the Fountain Head pit and flooding of the pit • Removal of all plant and infrastructure • Rehabilitation of all disturbed areas • Post closure monitoring and maintenance K A K A D U H IG H W AY COX PENINSULA ROAD STUART HIGHWAY ARNHEM HIGHWAY Nguiu DARWIN Palmerston Howard Springs Belyuen Mcminns Lagoon Batchelor Adelaide River Daly River Pine Creek Marrakai Litchfield Park Mount Bundey Douglas-Daly Hayes Creek Spring Hill Rustlers Roost Chinese Howley Toms Gully Browns Union Reefs Enterprise Brocks Creek Goodall Woolwonga Woodcutters Hayes Creek Project Mount Ellison Glencoe Fountain HeadFountain Head 8, 68 0, 00 0 8, 66 0, 00 0 8, 64 0, 00 0 8, 62 0, 00 0 8, 60 0, 00 0 8, 58 0, 00 0 8, 56 0, 00 0 8, 54 0, 00 0 8, 52 0, 00 0 8, 50 0, 00 0 8, 48 0, 00 0 8, 46 0, 00 0 8, 68 0, 00 0 8, 66 0, 00 0 8, 64 0, 00 0 8, 62 0, 00 0 8, 60 0, 00 0 8, 58 0, 00 0 8, 56 0, 00 0 8, 54 0, 00 0 8, 52 0, 00 0 8, 50 0, 00 0 8, 48 0, 00 0 8, 46 0, 00 0 860,000840,000820,000800,000780,000760,000740,000720,000700,000680,000660,000 NT WA SA QLD NSW ERIAS, 13-25 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia Figure Number: Map ID: Issue Date: ÄÄN〈 @ A4SCALE: 01238D_MCP_F02.1_GIS_v0-a 01238D_MCP_GIS001_v0-a 03.05.2021Populated place Site Major gold deposit Major base metal deposit Roads Railway Watercourse GDA2020 MGA Zone 521:1,200,000 0 1000500 KM 0 10 205 KM DATA SOURCE: Project data from PNX Metals, 2021. Base data from NT Government, 2021 & GEODATA 250K, 2006. Imagery © ESRI, DigitalGlobe and Partners, 2021. FIGURE 2.1 Fountain Head Gold Project | Mine Closure Plan PROJECT LOCATION PAF Stockpile Access Road Core Shed Fuel Farm Mine Haul Road Mining Contractor CIP Plant Site Power Station ROM/Crusher Topsoil 1 Topsoil 2 Magazine Magazine Road Integrated Waste Landform ANE Facility Pit Evaporation pond Ba n B an Sp rin gs Ro ad Mount Wells Road Unnamed Creek So ut he rn flo w pa th BO NA PA RT E GA S PI PE LI NE Alice Springs Darwin Railway Alice Springs Darwin Railway 8, 51 1, 50 0 8, 51 1, 00 0 8, 51 0, 50 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 50 0 8, 50 9, 00 0 8, 51 1, 50 0 8, 51 1, 00 0 8, 51 0, 50 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 50 0 8, 50 9, 00 0 772,500772,000771,500771,000770,500770,000769,500769,000768,500 ERIAS, 13-25 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia Figure Number: Map ID: Issue Date: ÄÄN〈 @ A4SCALE: 01238D_MCP_F02.2_GIS_v0-d 01238D_MCP_GIS002_v0-d 2021.05.13 Road Railway Gas pipeline Watercourse Mining leases Infrastructure type Area Building Road GDA2020 MGA Zone 521:20,000 0 200 400100 M DATA SOURCES: Project data from PNX Metals, 2021. Imagery © ESRI, DigitalGlobe and Partners, 2021. FIGURE 2.2 Fountain Head Gold Project | Mine Closure Plan PROJECT LAYOUT MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–4 2.2.1 Historical Disturbance Historical mining activities have resulted in significant disturbance to the landscape and surrounding environment in the Project area. Remnant disturbance and infrastructure from past Projects includes: • Existing WRS. • Fountain Head Tally Ho open pit (now referred to as the Fountain Head pit). • Water storage dam. • Fountain Head Lake. • Roads and tracks. • Areas previously disturbed by alluvial mining activities. Existing disturbance is shown in Figure 2.3. Existing on-site environmental issues resulting from previous mining activity are managed by PNX under the Fountain Head Tally Ho Care and Maintenance Mining Management Plan and include: • Land erosion. • Weed infestation. • Unrehabilitated WRS. • Large areas of bare soil, with no rehabilitation. 2.2.2 Project Interaction with Pre-existing Site Conditions In selecting the location for Project infrastructure, PNX’s preference has been to locate infrastructure on land that has already been disturbed, i.e., areas with little vegetation growth, thereby avoiding clearing areas of undisturbed vegetation so far as reasonably practicable. The Project provides an opportunity for the controlled removal of weeds in the Project area, particularly dense infestations of Gamba grass located around existing infrastructure. PNX maintains a weed management plan which will be used to manage the weeds on site to prevent further spread in the Project area. Sediment controls, e.g., sediment dams, will capture surface water runoff around the IWL and Project infrastructure. The existing WRS has not been rehabilitated following previous mining activity. PNX plans to progressively rehabilitate the WRS (IWL) as it is expanded during operations. Results of geochemical testing of the existing waste rock in the WRS show all samples as non–acid-forming (NAF), indicating that the waste rock tested is very unlikely to produce acid and metalliferous drainage (AMD) and is suitable for general construction. An existing water storage dam will be converted to an evaporation pond following minor remediation to the existing wall and an extension to increase storage capacity. Remediation of the Ba n B an Sp rin gs Ro ad Mount Wells Road Unnamed Creek So ut he rn flo w pa th BO NA PA RT E GA S PI PE LI NE Alice Springs Darwin Railway Alice Springs Darwin Railway 8, 51 1, 50 0 8, 51 1, 00 0 8, 51 0, 50 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 50 0 8, 50 9, 00 0 8, 51 1, 50 0 8, 51 1, 00 0 8, 51 0, 50 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 50 0 8, 50 9, 00 0 772,500772,000771,500771,000770,500770,000769,500769,000768,500 ERIAS, 13-25 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia Figure Number: Map ID: Issue Date: ÄÄN〈 @ A4SCALE: 01238D_MCP_F02.3_GIS_v0-b 01238D_MCP_GIS003_v0-b 2021.05.10 Road Railway Gas pipeline Watercourse Project area Existing Project disturbance New Project disturbance GDA2020 MGA Zone 521:20,000 0 200 400100 M DATA SOURCES: Project data from PNX Metals, 2021. Imagery © ESRI, DigitalGlobe and Partners, 2021. FIGURE 2.3 Fountain Head Gold Project | Mine Closure Plan EXISTING AND NEW PROJECT DISTURBANCE MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–6 dam will improve structural integrity and the dam’s potential use post closure for other land uses, e.g., water storage for stock water and/or irrigation. 2.2.3 Project Layout The Project area is approximately 634 ha (Table 2.2). Existing disturbance affects 165 ha or 26% of the overall area and the new Project disturbance is estimated to be an additional 81 ha or 13% (See Figure 2.3). Table 2.2 – Project Infrastructure and Land Clearing on the Project Area Land Area Area (ha) % of Project area Project area 634.58 - Fountain Head Gold Project footprint area 155.0 24.4 Pre-existing disturbance, including pit lake and dam 164.7 26.0 Fountain Head Gold Project footprint within existing disturbance 74.5 11.7 Fountain Head Gold Project new land clearance 80.6 12.7 The Project design will be refined during detailed design, and the disturbance footprint may change. 2.3 Mining 2.3.1 Mine Schedule The draft mining schedule has been designed to supply approximately 750,000 tpa of ore for processing. To achieve this production rate the pit will be mined in stages to ensure consistent ore supply while pre-stripping other areas of the pit. The current pit design has the following material summary (Table 2.3), with further refinement of the pit, it is expected that the stripping ratio will improve increasing the Project economics. Table 2.3 – Fountain Head Pit Materials Material Units Quantity Ore Tonnes 2,722,437 Waste Tonnes 17,754,275 Total materials Tonnes 20,476,712 Strip ratio Waste:Ore 6.5:1 The current mine life is approximately 3.5 years and could be extended with future exploration drilling which is currently planned to occur in close proximity to the current pit design. 2.3.2 Pit Design The Project involves a cutback of the existing open pit void left following mining undertaken by GBS Gold, and an extension to the existing void in a northwards direction (Figure 2.4). The existing pit will be deepened by approximately 65 m. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–7 Pit parameters will be similar to Table 2.4 based on assessment of previous geotechnical reports and observations of wall performance of the existing pit. Table 2.4 – Pit and Haul Road Design Preliminary Parameters Feature Unit Surface RL (mine grid) mRL 1,105 Final pit floor (mine grid) mRL 965 Total pit depth m 140 Pit length m 700 Pit width m 400 Road width – dual lane m 30 Road width – single lane m 17 Ramp gradient V:H 1:8 Batter height m 15 Berm width m 5 Upper batter angle ° 55 Lower batter angles ° 60 to 70 Overall pit slope ° ~45 2.3.3 Existing Waste Rock Storage The existing WRS, located to the west of the pit, was constructed during the last phase of mining by GBS Gold from 2007 to 2008 (see Figure F011). No rehabilitation of the WRS has occurred and while batters are at the angle of repose (Plate 2.1), the WRS is generally stable and some revegetation, particularly where oxide waste rock has been placed, has occurred. Geochemical testing of the existing waste rock in the WRS show all samples as NAF. Plate 2.1 – Existing Fountain Head Waste Rock Storage Source: PNX Metals. Mount Wells Road So ut he rn flo w pa th B O N A PA R TE G A S PI PE LI N E Alice Springs Darwin Railway Alice Springs Darwin Railway Waste rock storage Pit Integrated Waste Landform Pit 8, 51 0, 60 0 8, 51 0, 40 0 8, 51 0, 20 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 80 0 8, 50 9, 60 0 8, 50 9, 40 0 8, 50 9, 20 0 8, 51 0, 60 0 8, 51 0, 40 0 8, 51 0, 20 0 8, 51 0, 00 0 8, 50 9, 80 0 8, 50 9, 60 0 8, 50 9, 40 0 8, 50 9, 20 0 772,000771,800771,600771,400771,200771,000770,800770,600770,400770,200770,000 ERIAS, 13-25 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia Figure Number: Map ID: Issue Date: ÄÄN〈 @ A4SCALE: 01238D_MCP_F02.4_GIS_v0-b 01238D_MCP_GIS004_v0-b 2021.05.10 Road Railway Gas pipeline Watercourse Project area Infrastructure footprint Proposed Existing GDA2020 MGA Zone 521:10,000 0 200 400100 M DATA SOURCES: Project data from PNX Metals, 2021. Imagery © ESRI, DigitalGlobe and Partners, 2021. FIGURE 2.4 Fountain Head Gold Project | Mine Closure Plan PROPOSED FOUNTAIN HEAD PIT AND IWL IN COMPARISON TO EXISTING PIT AND WRS MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–9 2.3.4 Integrated Waste Landform The waste rock will then be excavated from the pit and hauled to the IWL, and the ore will be hauled to the dedicated ROM pad for stockpiling and subsequent processing. The IWL will be integrated into the existing WRS and will contain all waste rock and tailings generated for the Project. The tailings will be placed within a dedicated cell within the IWL with approximately 20m of waste rock between the tailings embankment and the outer edge of the IWL. Integration of tailings with waste rock has several advantages, including: • Negating the need for a separate tailings storage facility. • Improved landform stability though placing approximately 20m of waste rock around the tailings embankment. • Filter-press tailings (approximately 10% moisture content) will enable machinery to traffic over the tailings and subsequently increasing the density of tailings and reducing infiltration. The lag between the cessation of processing and rehabilitation of the tailings surface will also be shorter as the need to wait for tailings to dry out and consolidate is reduced. • The ability to undertake progressive rehabilitation as the landform develops throughout operations. The IWL landform design parameters are outlined in Table 2.5, a conceptual design of the IWL is provided in Figure 2.5. Table 2.5 – IWL Parameters Feature Value Embankment crest height (m) 22.5 Storage capacity (Mt) 2.87 Tailings storage capacity (Mm3) 1.37 Maximum waste crest height (m) 40 Waste capacity (Mt) 18.75 Waste capacity (Mm3) 6.94 Batter angle, final rehabilitation (°) ~18 Waste rock will be placed around the tailings embankment to form a ‘doughnut’ shaped structure within which the tailings will be placed. The filtered tailings will be trucked to the storage cell within the IWL which will be lined with compacted clay complete with an underdrainage system. At closure the tailings will be capped with 0.5 m of compacted clay and 1.5 m of waste rock to minimise the potential for water to infiltrate through the tailings to groundwater and reduce the risk of mobilising metals. The IWL will also be shaped into a convex landform to encourage runoff. 2.3.5 PAF Stockpile Waste rock which has been classified as being PAF, i.e., sulphur content above 0.2%, will be segregated and stockpiled adjacent to the open pit (See Figure 2.2). The location of the PAF stockpile has been selected to facilitate pushing PAF material into the pit for permanent storage A B ERIAS, 13-25 Church Street Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia Figure Number: Map ID: Issue Date: ÄÄN〈 @ A4SCALE: 01238D_MCP_F02.5_GIS_v0-b 01238D_MCP_GIS007_v0-b 2021.05.25 Competent rock Clay liner Waste rock GDA2020 MGA Zone 521:10,000 0 200 400100 M DATA SOURCES: IWL design from Appendix 26 of the EIS. FIGURE 2.5 Fountain Head Gold Project | Mine Closure Plan CONCEPTUAL IWL DESIGN Project data from PNX Metals, 2021. Imagery © ESRI, DigitalGlobe and Partners, 2021. 3 1 STAGE 4 - RL 125.0 m STAGE 3 - RL 122.0 m STAGE 2 - RL 118.0 m STAGE 1 - RL 113.5 m LOW PERM BORROW STAGE 4 TAILINGS SURFACE CUT-OFF TRENCH 1.0 m DEEP MINE WASTE 1 1 2.0 m 20.0 m 4.0 m 20.0 m 1 3 SECTION A - PERIMETER EMBANKMENT 2.75 110.0m MINE WASTE 2.75 1 2.75 110.0m 2.75 1 2.75 1 10.0m 10.0m RL 135.0 m RL 125.0 m RL 115.0 m RL 95.0 m RL 105.0 m SECTION B - WASTE DUMP MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3 2–11 (below water), without the need for haulage, at the completion of mining. Volumes of both oxidised (oxide + transitional) and fresh waste rock and ore to be mined from the proposed expanded Fountain Head pit have been estimated under the current mine plan. The estimates show only around 60,000 m3 (150,000 t) of PAF waste rock and 20,000 m3 (70,000 t) of PAF ore will be mined. The total amount of PAF and PAF-LC waste rock is estimated at around 280,000 m3. At the conclusion of mining, NAF waste rock from the IWL will be tipped over the edge of the pit to cover benches. This will avoid PAF material being caught on the benches and potentially not falling to the bottom of the pit when it is pushed into the pit at the completion of mining. Once in the pit, PAF material will be inundated through natural groundwater recharge and pumping of water from the evaporation pond back to the pit. Once submerged, any potential impacts relating to AMD drainage will be mitigated. 2.4 Processing Plant The gold bearing ore from mining will be stockpiled on the ROM. The process plant will treat the ore by CIP method. The major components of the plant (crushing, grinding and leaching circuits, reagents store, plant infrastructure services, laboratory and offices) are positioned to be accessible for operation and maintenance. During decommissioning, all processing plant infrastructure will be removed and a site contamination assessment will be undertaken. 2.5 Associated Infrastructure Construction Supporting infrastructure will be removed during closure will include: • Main administration office, ablution block and carpark. • Crib room for mine workers. • Workshop, stores, service bay and stockyard. • Heavy vehicle washdown pad and oil separators. • Diesel fuel and oil storage and dispensing facilities. • Power generation facility. • Exploration core shed with office and ablutions. • Perimeter and internal fencing with signage. • Explosive magazines. • ANE Storage sheds/facility. • Water storage/evaporation dam. • Mine access roads. • UHF Radio repeater communications tower. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 3–1 3. Closure Obligations and Commitments 3.1 Terms of Reference The NT EPA Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Project (NT EPA, 2020) identifies the following mine closure requirements: 1. Provide clear descriptions and maps of the mine lease that delineate and define the PNX responsibility for rehabilitation of legacy disturbances that may or may not be further disturbed by the Project. 2. As the Project has a short life of mine, prepare a conceptual MCP. 3. Develop the MCP according to leading practice guidance (see Section 3.2). 4. Develop the MCP to include the information outlined in Table 3.1. Table 3.1 – Information Required in the Conceptual MCP Topic Required Information MCP Section Closure Objectives • Proposal-specific closure objectives and an explanation of how they are consistent with closure objectives in leading practice guidelines. • Sections 6.3 & 6.4. • Intended future/next land-use and land tenure arrangements. • Sections 6.2 & 6.4. • Stakeholder expectations and an outline of methods (including milestones) for reaching agreement with stakeholders on closure objectives. • Section 4. General Plans • A site plan identifying the intended final landforms of the site. • Figure 6.1 • Intended closure timeframes. • Section 8.1. • Expected post closure monitoring and management arrangements, including identification of how these arrangements would be funded and who would be responsible for them. • Section 9 & 10.2. • Indicative volumes, sources and characterisation of materials required for rehabilitation and closure (e.g. fill, cover materials). • Section 6.4. • Methods and processes that will be implemented to address any knowledge gaps associated with specific rehabilitation and closure activities. • Section 6.6. Key components: • Open pit. • For each of the key components, provide the following: • Closure options: MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 3–2 Topic Required Information MCP Section • Integrated waste landform. • Process plant • Site drainage. • Revegetation. - Outline all rehabilitation and closure options that have been or are being considered, and where uncertainties remain, outline a process that will be used to decide which closure options will be adopted. • Section 6.4. - Evaluate and compare the potential environmental outcomes and the costs, benefits and residual environmental and social risks of the rehabilitation and closure alternatives considered. • Section 6.4, 6.7, Appendix 1. - Demonstrate that the selected closure option delivers superior post-closure environmental outcomes over other feasible options. Where backfilling the pit is not the selected closure option, demonstrate that the selected option presents an environmental improvement over the pre-existing conditions at the Project site. Demonstrate that there will be no ongoing costs borne by the community and government in future. This should be demonstrated with respect to the principles of ecologically sustainable development. • Section 6.7. • Plans for progressive rehabilitation, including details of any audits and reporting on its progress that would be undertaken. • Section 8.2. • Explanation of how the component rehabilitation contributes to meeting the overall closure objectives. • Section 8.2. Also provide, as relevant to the component: • The intended dimensions and shape of final landforms and detail on whether they will shed or retain surface water and act as a source or sink to groundwater. • Section 6.4. • An assessment of the intended pit lake in accordance with Appendix H of the Western Australian Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans (DMP & EPA, 2015) including density driven exchange between pit lake water and surrounding groundwater. This assessment should be provided as a contingency measure in the instance the Hayes Creek Project does not proceed. • Section 6.4.4. • Methods for topsoil management and soil profile reconstruction, with demonstration of their effectiveness for rehabilitating disturbed areas and ensuring long term stability. • Section 8.2. • A schedule and strategies to be used for revegetation, including species to be used and their source, and identification of any research that may be required to determine appropriate revegetation methods. • Section 8.2. • A conceptual site model including landforms and final structures that are designed to divert, • Section 6.6.3. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 3–3 Topic Required Information MCP Section capture, retain and/or treat surface runoff from the site. Risks to successful rehabilitation and closure • Description of matters that could influence unanticipated or early closure or care and maintenance of the mine, how this may affect rehabilitation objectives, and the contingency and mitigation measures to be implemented. • Section 8.3. • Discussion of the potential risk that the Project may create an ongoing environmental, social and/or economic legacy if operations are required to cease ahead of schedule due to unforeseen circumstances, prior to the planned closure and rehabilitation of the site. • Section 8.3. • Discussion of the potential risks associated with earthquakes, unusual rainfall events, weeds, fire, flood and climate change. • Appendix 1 Table 3.2 identifies the preliminary key environmental factors, and associated objectives, that will be addressed in the Draft EIS and in mine closure planning. Protection of the key environmental factors has been a priority in the development of the MCP. Table 3.2 – Key environmental factors from the TOR Source: NT EPA, 2020. 3.2 Leading Practice 3.2.1 International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) The ICMM recommends that planning for mine rehabilitation and closure should be an integral part of early mine planning and include an early definition of the closure vision, principles and objectives supported by stakeholder engagement (ICMM, 2019; 2020a). Sufficient information is MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 3–4 required to demonstrate how mine closure objectives can be met. Rehabilitation and closure plans should consider potential environmental impacts from the Project into the long-term future. 3.2.1 Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program in the Mining Industry: Mine Closure The Leading Practice Sustainable Development Program in the Mining Industry series of handbooks has been produced to share Australia’s world-leading experience and expertise in mine management and planning. The handbook for closure provides a framework for how mine closure should be approached: ‘Ideally, mines close only when their mineral resources are exhausted, a mine closure plan is in place and the plan is progressively implemented. There is time available for planning, monitoring and trials, and funds are externally held to cover the costs of implementing the closure plan. Predetermined outcomes can be achieved or progressed satisfactorily and there is ample opportunity to overcome any major issue that may create problems after closure. Stakeholders are prepared for the intended closure date, employees can plan to find alternative employment, and the community has the opportunity to work with the mine to ensure sustainable benefits from the mining activities.’ (MHW, 2016). This is not always the reality and in the case of this Project, which has a short mine life, the implications of decisions made during planning and design, construction and operations for closure need to be factored into the decision-making process. The vision of a mine closure plan is to ensure that a process is established to guide all decisions and understand the implications of decisions during the life of the mine. 3.3 Western Australia Guidelines The EIS ToR state that the MCP is to be prepared considering the Western Australia Guidelines for Preparing Mine Closure Plans (DMP & EPA, 2015). These guidelines provide guidance on the preparation of MCP to meet WA regulatory requirements and are used by other jurisdictions in Australia as they are recognised as an appropriate, and leading practice, reference. These guidelines have been considered in the preparation of this MCP, especially the structure and content of the plan. 3.4 NT Mining Management Act 2001 Section 40 of the Mining Management Act 2001 requires a mining management plan for the management of a mine site. The mining management plan is to include a plan and costing of closure activities (s. 40(2)). A certificate of closure may be applied for on the completion of rehabilitation of a mine site (s. 46). The certificate will be issued when the operator has met the completion criteria for the site. The MCP defines completion criteria (Section 6.3), noting that these will be regularly reviewed as the Project progresses. 3.5 Mine Lease Requirements There are no known mine lease conditions related to mine closure. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 3–5 3.6 Legal Obligations Register As per the ‘Mine Closure Plan Guidance - How to prepare in accordance with Part 1 of the Statutory Guidelines for Mine Closure Plans’ (DMIRS, 2020. Government of Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, V3, March 2020) all statutory obligations relevant to rehabilitation and closure at a given mine site must be identified and provided in a suitable format, usually referred to as a Legal Obligations Register. The Register should form part of the operator’s overarching legal register for all operations on the site. The Project EIA Section 2 – Approvals and Regulatory Framework provides the overarching legal register which will form the basis for the Mine Closure Legal Obligations Register. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 4–1 4. Stakeholder Engagement 4.1 Stakeholder Engagement The preparation of this MCP has been undertaken during a period of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Engagement with the stakeholders to date has been undertaken during Project scoping, the notice of intent (NOI), project information updates and the Draft EIS. Since May 2019, stakeholder engagement has been undertaken with NT government agencies, Ban Ban Springs Station, other resource companies, Warai and Wagiman representatives and the Grove Hill Hotel. No comments or issues were raised regarding mine closure. The statement of reasons (SOR), which is the NT EPA’s response to the NOI, identified impacts which were raised by government advisory bodies. These have since been addressed in the Draft EIS and include the following closure matter: Potential legacy conditions associated with wastes generated at site and the need for additional geochemical investigations and a mine closure plan to be presented as a contingency in the case that the Hayes Creek Project does not go ahead as planned. PNX will continue to update and refine the Project stakeholder engagement plan which provides structure and processes for keeping communities, government and other stakeholders informed of Project updates and milestones. The ongoing program of engagement will include: • Maintaining good relationships with landholders, local business and industry, Traditional Owners and government (at all levels). • Identifying new stakeholders and re-analysing levels of interest and impact regularly to maintain a good understanding of stakeholder needs and concern. • Keeping stakeholders up to date with relevant Project information in a timely manner and addressing concerns as they arise. • Meeting government requests for information or further engagement. • Providing community and government with information about the performance of the Project against environmental objectives and the success of mitigations outlined in the EIS. • Monitoring and responding to issues raised through the stakeholder management system and incorporating feedback into the Project, where possible. • Considering community programs to help monitor Project impacts. • Continuing to provide updates on the progress of the Project on the PNX Metals website. • Consultation with landholders in particular, specifically the underlying pastoral lease holder, will be maintained by PNX throughout the life of the Project. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 4–2 • Relevant matters raised during stakeholder engagement will be incorporated into mine closure planning and future versions of this MCP. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 5–1 5. Baseline Data Analysis This chapter summarises key environmental data, informed by the Project EIS and related specialist studies, that has influenced the closure objectives and completion criteria that have been developed for the Project (Section 6). Data from ongoing studies during Project development and operations will be used to refine the closure outcomes and completion criteria as mine closure planning advances. 5.1 Existing Land Use The Project area is located within three MLs (MLN4, MLN1034 and ML31124). The existing disturbance associated with the Project is about 165 ha which represents 19% of the MLs (Table 5.1). Table 5.1 – Project Disturbance Lease Number Lease Area (ha) Existing Disturbance Total with new Disturbance Area (ha) % of Lease Area Area (ha) % of Lease Area MLN1034 304.2 42.1 13.8 94.2 30.9 MLN31124 33.5 9.5 28.4 19.8 58.9 MLN4 529.9 113.1 21.3 125.3 23.6 TOTAL 867.6 164.7 19.0 239.2 27.6 5.2 Geology and Land Systems The Project deposits are located within the Pine Creek Inlier or ‘Pine Creek Geosyncline’, an ancient granitic basin overlain by shallow marine to continental supracrustal rocks (sediments and volcanics) that accumulated in less than 20 million years (Needham et al., 1984). The cyclic siltstone, mudstone and greywacke packages of the Fountain Head and Tally Ho mineralisation have been metamorphosed over time to greenschist facies. In the area, stratigraphy is folded along northwest-southeast axes that plunge shallowly to the southeast. Mineralisation at Fountain Head is intimately associated with the Fountain Head Anticline. The Tally Ho deposit is located just to the southwest of Fountain Head deposit and sits on the western limb of the Fountain Head Anticline. Mineralisation occurs in veins as either conformable anticlinal lodes (with flanking mineralisation) or subvertical ‘ladder vein’ styled mineralisation, and is found within mudstones, greywackes and phyllite units. Gold is associated with quartz veining containing a pyrite-arsenopyrite sulphide assemblage and coarse gold is also not uncommon. The Project comprises two land systems: Rumwaggon and McKinlay. These represent sandstone plains and rises, and alluvial floodplains, respectively, i.e., low rounded hills and gravelly ridges with intervening alluvial floodplains and channels. MINE CLOSURE PLAN FOUNTAIN HEAD GOLD PROJECT 01238D_3_V3.DOCX 5–2 5.3 Geochemistry 5.3.1 Existing Waste Rock Evidence from surface water monitoring is that the existing waste rock is non-acid forming and is not generating acidic or neutral metalliferous drainage (Appendix 3 of the EIS). This is further supported by geochemical testing of the existing waste rock which indicates this material is unlikely to generate any acidity, with all but one sample tested classified as clearly NAF (Appendix 6 of the EIS). The acid neutralising capacity/maximum potential acidity (ANC/MPA) ratios indicate this material is unlikely to produce acidic drainage and presents low environmental risk. Leach testing (using water extracts) of material from the existing waste rock stockpile produced extracts with a neutral pH, low salinity and very low or non-detectable concentrations of metals and metalloids (Appendix 6 of the EIS). 5.3.2 Waste Rock from the Fountain Head Pit Testing of the waste rock to be removed from the Fountain Head pit indicated that most samples (80%) were NAF, while 15% were potentially acid-forming low capacity (PAF-LC) and 5% were potential acid forming (PAF), indicating that pyritic rock is not widespread (Appendix 6 of the EIS). A more precise estimate of PAF material will be determined following further testing. The majority of waste rock is expected to have sufficient neutralising capacity to prevent acid generation. Leach testing of waste rock to be removed from the Fountain Head pit was undertaken using water extracts and accelerated oxidations with hydrogen peroxide (Appendix 6 of the EIS). Water extractions on waste rock included testing of PAF, PAF-LC and NAF materials. All water extracts produced circumneutral to alkaline solutions with low salinity. With the exception of aluminium, metal concentrations in water extracts for NAF samples (≤0.2%S) were significantly lower than PAF/PAF-LC (>0.2%S) samples; however, metal concentrations in all water extracts were generally very low to non-detectable. Peroxide testing of waste rock was also undertaken on PAF, PAF-LC and NAF materials. This test provides an indication of metal and metalloid concentrations associated with acidic runoff from waste rock subject to oxidation processes following exposure and surface storage. The results showed a correlation between the total sulphur content of a sample and the amount of metal and metalloids dissolved in peroxide extracts, particularly iron, copper, cobalt, nickel and arsenic. It was noted however that samples with a relatively low total sulphur content (
Scrap Yard Mechanic Shop
DRAFT REPORT ON Submitted to: Copper Mining Company Thunder Bay, Ontario DISTRIBUTION: ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY REPORT COPPER MINING COMPANY THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO November 2011 - i - TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1.0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ..................................................... PAGE 1 1.1 General .................................................................................................. 1 1.2 Scope of Work ....................................................................................... 1 2.0 STUDY METHODOLOGY .......................................................................... 3 2.1 Vegetation .............................................................................................. 3 2.2 Wildlife ................................................................................................... 4 2.3 Species at Risk ...................................................................................... 4 2.4 Fish and Fish Habitat ............................................................................. 4 2.4.1 Fish Community .......................................................................... 4 2.4.2 Fish Habitat ................................................................................ 4 2.5 Benthic Invertebrates ............................................................................. 5 2.5.1 Data Analysis.............................................................................. 5 2.5.2 Sediment Sampling .................................................................... 6 2.6 Surface Water and Groundwater ............................................................ 6 2.6.1 Surface Water Discharge and Chemistry .................................... 6 2.6.2 Groundwater Quality ................................................................... 6 3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL OVERVIEW ................................................................ 8 3.1 Climate ................................................................................................... 8 3.2 Vegetation .............................................................................................. 8 3.3 Wildlife ................................................................................................. 14 3.4 Species at Risk .................................................................................... 15 3.4.1 Fish Community ........................................................................ 18 3.4.2 Fish Habitat .............................................................................. 21 3.5 Benthic Invertebrates ........................................................................... 21 3.5.1 Sediment Characteristics .......................................................... 21 3.6 Surface Water and Groundwater .......................................................... 22 3.6.1 Summary of Surface Water Quality Results .............................. 23 3.6.2 Stream Discharge Measurements ............................................. 25 3.6.3 Groundwater Quality ................................................................. 25 4.0 SUMMARY ................................................................................................ 30 5.0 LIMITATIONS ............................................................................................ 31 6.0 CLOSURE ................................................................................................. 32 7.0 REFERENCES .......................................................................................... 33 November 2011 - ii - TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued) LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Forest Ecosystem Classification Summary Table 2 Incidental Wildlife Observations Table 3 Species at Risk with Potential to Occur in the Project Area Table 4 Catch Summary and Species Composition of Fish for Minnow Creek Table 5 Habitat Requirements of Fish Species Captured in Minnow Creek Table 6 Habitat Characteristics Associated with Fish Species Captured in Minnow Creek Table 7 Sediment Sample Characteristics Table 8 Surface Water Quality Summary Table 9 Stream Discharge Summary Table 10 Groundwater Quality Summary (August 1999) Table 11 Groundwater Quality Summary (June 6, 2010) Table 12 Groundwater Quality Summary (July 23, 2010) LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Key Plan Figure 2 Site Plan Figure 3 Hydrological and Biological Sampling Locations Figure 4 Vegetation Communities Figure 5 Minnow Creek Fish Habitat (Upstream Location) Figure 6 Minnow Creek Fish Habitat (Downstream Location) LIST OF APPENDICES Appendix A Meteorological Data Appendix B Ecosite Photographs Appendix C Sediment Analytical Data Appendix D Surface Water Quality Analytical Reports Appendix E Discharge Data November 2011 - 1 - 1.0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 1.1 General ACME Consulting (ACME) was retained by Copper Mining Company to prepare an Environmental Study Report for the Copper Mining Company Property (the Project area) (Figure 1). The Project is located approximately 90 km west of downtown Thunder Bay, Ontario. The majority of exploration efforts on the property took place between 1960 and 1973, with full- scale operations beginning in 1985. At the time of the initial Closure Plan (1992), production was at approximately 400 tonnes of ore per day. Initially the ore was transported off-site to be processed, no milling took place on the site, nor was there a need to create tailings impoundments on the property. In 1990 a mill was constructed on site and tailings management areas were constructed north of the mine. The original Closure Plan was last amended in November, 2002. Now, proposed expansion of the site has prompted the need for further updates to the Closure Plan. Key future developments include a maintenance garage. Construction of the garage is scheduled to begin in early 2012, following submission of the Updated Closure Plan. The level of detail and environmental studies in the existing Closure Plan and amendment needs to be updated to meet Ministry of Northern Development Mines and Forestry requirements. Updates will reflect changes that have taken place since initial development, projected future developments, and changes to financial assurance requirements. The Project boundaries and proposed Site Plan provided by Copper Mining Company were used to define the study area for the environmental studies (Figure 2). The purpose of the environmental study is to characterize existing site conditions, identify potential environmental constraints associated with the Project and to gather information that may support exploration/operational permit applications in the future. 1.2 Scope of Work The environmental baseline study conducted by ACME includes the following components: • A file review consisting of accessing and summarizing pertinent information from the applicable government agency (i.e. the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)) files, as well as consultation with agency personnel; • A site visit to allow the Project team to become familiar with the property; • A fall benthic survey designed to establish benthic community characteristics; • A water quality sampling program; • A sediment quality sampling program; November 2011 - 2 - • Preliminary fish habitat and community surveys of the waterbodies observed within the Project boundaries; • A preliminary terrestrial field survey to ground-truth background information, identify plant communities and make supplemental observations of wildlife and wildlife habitat; and • Preparation of the Environmental Study Report, using all information obtained from the site reconnaissance, field surveys, consultation and file reviews. November 2011 - 3 - 2.0 STUDY METHODOLOGY Resource information was obtained through information requests made to the MNR Thunder Bay District office, available mapping, on-line database searches and through terrestrial and aquatic biological field surveys. General information collected included the location of: • Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI); • Significant wetlands; • Listed flora and fauna species; • Habitat of significant species, based on values mapping information (e.g. moose (Alces alces) yard), waterfowl concentration areas, important wildlife habitat, raptors, forestry information; and • Fish and fish habitat. A general site visit was conducted from August 20 to 22, 2010, to familiarize ACME staff with the Project area and complete the vegetation ground-truthing. During the terrestrial survey, soil type, plant communities and subsequent Northeastern Ontario Forest Ecosystem Classifications (FEC) were recorded, accompanied by incidental wildlife observations. Fish community, fish habitat, and benthic invertebrate sampling were completed from October 6 to 9, 2010. 2.1 Vegetation During the August 2010 terrestrial field program, ground-truthing of plant community boundaries was conducted to confirm the accuracy of desk top plant community mapping that had been generated from satellite imagery provided by COPPER MINING COMPANY. Ground-truthing was conducted within the Project footprint and adjacent to the current access road as defined by the Site Plan (Figure 2). Plant community polygon boundaries were classified using the North Western Forest Classification System Forest Ecosite Classification system and applicable ACME Technical Procedures (ACME 2005) to provide a description of the plant community characteristics, soil types and plant species found within the communities. Wetland habitats that could not be classified using the FEC system (i.e. sites without forest cover) were classified using the Northern Ontario Wetland Evaluation System (MNR 2002). Soil profiles were determined using a soil auger, and field descriptions of soil types were recorded to a maximum depth of 120 cm. Observations were recorded for texture, moisture regime, depth of organics, depth to bedrock, and depth of mottling and gley soil. November 2011 - 4 - 2.2 Wildlife Existing wildlife information was obtained through a literature review, discussions with agency representatives and individuals knowledgeable about the Project area, and searches of available databases. Incidental wildlife observations were also recorded during the 2010 field programs and accompanied habitat information recorded during the vegetation surveys. Species type, location, habitat type and observed activity were recorded for each incidental wildlife observation. 2.3 Species at Risk The potential presence of nationally and provincially significant or listed species was determined by searching the Natural Heritage Information Center (NHIC) (2010), Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO) (2010), the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) (2010), the federal Species at Risk Act – Schedule 1 (SARA) (2010) databases and available range information. 2.4 Fish and Fish Habitat 2.4.1 Fish Community Fish community sampling locations were chosen within Minnow Creek to characterize the existing fish community and the relative abundance of the species present (Figure 3). Fish community sampling was conducted at two locations within Minnow Creek. The fish community surveys followed ACME’s Technical Procedures (ACME 1997a) and were conducted under a MNR fisheries permit to collect fish for scientific purposes between October 6 and 9, 2010. Hoop nets and minnow traps were used in combination with backpack electrofishing to characterize the fish communities in Minnow Creek. Species identification of the fish captured was carried out in the field. All small bodied fish captured were identified and live released. Supporting environmental variables were also collected as part of the fish community surveys. These included water quality measurements [dissolved oxygen (DO); water temperature; pH and conductivity]; UTM coordinates; water depth; flow characteristics (in streams); and occurrence of aquatic macrophytes and substrate type (e.g. silt/clay, sand, gravel, cobble). 2.4.2 Fish Habitat Fish habitat mapping followed ACME’s Technical Procedures for watercourse habitat mapping (ACME 2005). Shoreline habitat information was collected in the general vicinity of the fish community sampling locations. Habitat features were mapped within representative reaches of Minnow Creek, highlighting features influencing fish habitat and representing the habitat types. November 2011 - 5 - Typical observations included the following categories: shoreline slope; shoreline vegetation; evidence of erosion; location of stream inlets; stream class (gradient); substrate type and presence of floating/submerged vegetation; debris; and beaver (Castor canadensis) activity. 2.5 Benthic Invertebrates The benthic invertebrate survey was completed from October 6 to 9, 2010. Benthic invertebrate samples were collected from Minnow Creek using a Petite Ponar grab sampler of 0.225 m2 bottom area (0.15 m x 0.15 m) to characterize benthic community structure in accordance with ACME’s Technical Procedure 8.6-2 (ACME 2008). Additional observations (water depth, pH, conductivity, water temperature, and DO) were recorded at the time of sampling at all sampling stations. 2.5.1 Data Analysis The raw benthic invertebrate abundance data were received from the taxonomist in an Excel® spreadsheet format. Before commencing calculation of indices, the data were assessed visually to identify potential data entry errors. To prepare the data for analysis, abundances per sample were expressed as number of organisms per square metre, at the lowest level of identification, and terrestrial and non-benthic invertebrates were removed. Data Entry and Screening The three samples collected at each station were considered replicates, which were used to calculate community descriptors for each station. Community descriptors were partly based on recommendations of the guidance document for Environmental Effects Monitoring for Metal Mines (Environment Canada 2002), and included the following: Analysis • Total invertebrate density (density); • Richness; • Evenness; • Simpson’s Diversity Index (SDI); and • Bray Curtis Index (BCI) Total invertebrate density was calculated as the number of organisms per square metre. November 2011 - 6 - 2.5.2 Sediment Sampling Samples of the top 0 to 10 cm of sediment were collected using a Petit Ponar grab sampler that sampled an area of 0.225 m2 (0.15 m x 0.15 m). ACME collected a total of three replicate samples at each of the benthic invertebrate sampling locations (Appendix C). The samples were placed into labelled 250 ml Teflon cap glass jars and kept cool in a cooler until delivered to the Laboratory under a chain-of-custody form. Testmark analysed the sediment samples for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and particle size using sieving techniques. The samples were analysed with method detection limits at or below the Provincial Sediment Quality Guidelines (PSQG) [Ministry of Environment and Energy (MOEE) 1993]. 2.6 Surface Water and Groundwater 2.6.1 Surface Water Discharge and Chemistry Surface water discharge measurements and chemistry sampling was completed by ACME staff in October, 2010. Discharge locations were chosen at upstream and downstream sampling stations along Minnow Creek, which drains along the western boundary of the Project area (Figure 3). These sampling locations were assumed to be most likely to show the effect of surface runoff from the Project area (i.e. the sampling sites were not affected by upstream inputs). Discharge measurements in Minnow Creek were collected and calculated according to ACME protocol (ACME 2007) using a Marsh-McBirney flow meter. Surface water chemistry samples were collected according to ACME protocol (ACME 2008). All chemistry samples were stored in a chilled cooler and delivered to the laboratory under a chain-of-custody, within the required holding time, for analysis. Surface water chemistry samples were analysed by Testmark and compared to Ministry of the Environment (MOE) Provincial Water Quality Objectives (PWQO) (MOEE 1994a). Each sample was analysed for pH, conductivity, temperature, DO, hardness, total suspended solids, dissolved organic carbon, total dissolved solids (TDS), alkalinity, colour, turbidity, total Kjedahl nitrogen (TKN), ammonia as (N), anions, and total ICP metals. 2.6.2 Groundwater Quality The Copper Mining Company personnel collected groundwater samples from all available monitoring wells during two sampling years. One sampling round took place in 2001, after the initial seven monitoring wells were installed. A period of nine years elapsed between the first and the second round of groundwater sampling on the Property. In 2010, three sampling events occurred (June, July and August). The Property will continue to be monitored throughout operation and post-closure. Sampling was conducted using dedicated WaTerraTM tubing and foot valves installed in these wells. Water levels were measured in each monitoring well prior to November 2011 - 7 - sampling. Analysis was completed using parameters listed in O.Reg.240/00, Part VII of the Mining Act under proper chain-of-custody. November 2011 - 8 - 3.0 ENVIRONMENTAL OVERVIEW The property, including underground, lies between Lot 4 and Lot 2, Concession I, Martin Township (Figure 1). In general, the Project area drains via Minnow Creek and the Tailings Management Area water treatment system towards the Minnow Creek. Upland habitat in the area is a mix of relatively dense mixed and coniferous forest with disturbed areas and regeneration, while lowland habitat was observed to be dominantly coniferous swamps and marsh habitat. 3.1 Climate The Thunder Bay region is classified as having a sub-humid mid-boreal ecoclimate (Environment Canada 2005). Climate normals for the period 1971-2000 for the Project area were obtained from Environment Canada (2008). The Thunder Bay Airport site is located approximately 20 km northeast of the Project area and was assumed to be representative of the Project area. According to these data, the average annual temperature is 1.3°C, and total precipitation is approximately 931 mm, of which approximately 40% falls as snow. The prevailing winds for the Project area are from the south and have an average wind speed of 19 km/h. Appendix A includes relevant monthly climate data for the Project area. 3.2 Vegetation Throughout this region the typical forest habitat is described as a mixed forest characterized by stands of white spruce (Picea glauca), balsam fir (Abies balsamea), white birch (Betula papyrifera) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) (Environment Canada 2005). Drier sites may have pure stands of jack pine (Pinus banksiana) or mixtures of jack pine, white birch, and trembling aspen (Environment Canada 2005). Wet sites are characterized by black spruce (Picea mariana) and balsam fir with an understorey of moss and lichen (Environment Canada 2005). Topography in the region is dominated by fine textured, level to undulating deposits with a mix of bedrock outcrops and organic deposits (Environment Canada 2005). Observations recorded during the August 2010 field program indicated that the upland vegetation cover within the Project area is typical of the Thunder Bay region, and is dominantly black spruce with associates of white spruce and white birch. Lowland vegetation cover included black spruce swamp and cattail marsh habitats. Based on the FEC system, 5 ecosite types were identified, in addition to graminoid marsh, tall shrub swamp and cultural meadow habitats (Table 1) (Figure 4) Photographs of the different ecosite types are depicted in Appendix B. November 2011 - 9 - TABLE 1 FOREST ECOSYSTEM CLASSIFICATION SUMMARY Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description (Photo 1) V23 S14 Black Spruce – Fine Soil The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by balsam fir, white birch and white spruce, which provided 25-50% and 50-75% cover within each layer, respectively. Shrubs observed within the understorey include balsam fir and speckled alder (Alnus incana). The ground layer was observed to include blue-bead lily (Clintonia borealis), spinulose woodfern (Dryopteris carthusiana) and dwarf raspberry (Rubus pubescens). Soil within the ecosite was observed to be an imperfectly drained fine loamy to clayey soil with a moderately moist moisture regime. The depth of the organics was approximately 13 cm and the depth to bedrock was greater than 120 cm. Mottles were observed at a depth of 63 cm. No gleying was observed. (Photo 2) V4/V13 S14 Trembling Aspen – White Spruce – White Birch – Fine Soil The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by trembling aspen, black spruce, balsam fir, balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera), white birch and white spruce, which provided 10-25% and 25-50% cover within each layer respectively. Shrubs observed within the understorey include mountain maple (Acer spicatum), beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta), white birch, balsam fir, balsam poplar, trembling aspen, speckled alder, pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica), and fly honeysuckle. The ground layer was observed to include wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), blue-bead lily, dwarf raspberry, lady fern (Athyrium felix-femina), swamp red currant (Ribes triste), twinflower (Linnaea borealis), spinulose woodfern, November 2011 - 10 - Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description squashberry (Viburnum edule), bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera), and Canada yew (Taxus canadensis). Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a moderately well- drained fine loamy to clayey soil with a moderate moisture regime. The depth of the organics was approximately 11 cm and the depth to bedrock was greater than 120 cm. Mottles were observed at a depth of 46 cm. No gleying was observed. November 2011 - 11 - Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description (Photo 3) V11/V13 S11/S13 Trembling Aspen – Black Spruce – Balsam Poplar – Moist Soil The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by white birch, balsam poplar, balsam fir, black spruce, white spruce and trembling aspen, which provided 25-50% cover within each layer. Shrubs observed within the understorey include balsam fir, choke cherry (Prunus virginiana), fly- honeysuckle, showy mountain-ash, mountain maple and beaked hazel. The ground layer was observed to include lady fern, dwarf raspberry, violet species, naked miterwort, wild sarsaparilla, red raspberry (Rubus idaeus), field horsetail (Equisetum arvense), and red osier dogwood (Cornus stolonifera). Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a moderately well- drained fine loamy to clayey soil with a very fresh moisture regime. The depth of the organics was approximately 32 cm and the depth to bedrock was greater than 120 cm. Mottles were observed at a depth of 67 cm. No gleying was observed. ES11 (Photo 4) V24/V26 S17 Black Spruce – Labrador-Tea – Organic Soil The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by black spruce and larch, which provided 25-50% cover within each layer. Shrubs observed within the understorey include speckled alder, willow (Salix sp.), black spruce and dwarf birch (Betula pumila). The ground layer was observed to include Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), sedge species, velvet-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), goldthread, sheep-laurel (Kalmia angustifolia), bog-laurel (Kalmia polifolia), field horsetail, blue-bead lily and leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata). Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a very poorly November 2011 - 12 - Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description drained organic soil with a moderately wet moisture regime. The depth of the organics was greater than 120 cm. No mottles or gleying were observed. (Photo 5) V23/V24 S17 Black Spruce – Larch – Speckled Alder – Organic Soil – Species Poor The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by black spruce, larch and trembling aspen, which provided 10-25% and 25- 50% cover within each layer, respectively. Shrubs observed within the understorey include black spruce, balsam fir, dwarf birch, and beaked hazel. The ground layer was observed to include bunchberry, Canada mayflower, twinflower, velvet-leaf blueberry, Labrador tea, dwarf raspberry and goldthread. Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a very poorly drained organic soil with a moderately wet moisture regime. The depth of the organics ranged from 42 cm to greater than 120 cm. The depth to bedrock was greater than 120 cm. No mottles or gleying were observed. Graminoid Marsh (Photo 6) S17 Graminoid Marsh The canopy was dominated by speckled alder and Canada blue-joint (Calamagrostis canadensis), which provided 25- 50% cover and the subcanopy was dominated by lake sedge (Carex lacustris), which provided 75-95% cover. Shrubs observed within the understorey include speckled alder and northern water-horehound (Lycopus uniflorus). The ground layer was dominated by marsh cinquefoil (Potentilla palustris) and swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate). These species were observed to be evenly distributed throughout the ground layer with no strong dominance exhibited. Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a very poorly November 2011 - 13 - Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description drained fibric organic soil with a very wet moisture regime. The depth of the organics was greater than 120 cm. No mottles or gleying were observed. Cultural Meadow (Photo 7) S14 Cultural Meadow The canopy and subcanopy were dominated by balsam poplar, which provided 1-2% and 10-25% cover within each layer respectively. Shrubs observed within the understorey include balsam poplar, willow, trembling aspen, and pin cherry. The ground layer was observed to include flat-topped aster (Doellingeria umbellata), Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis), cow vetch (Vicia cracca) and red top (Agrostis gigantea). Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a moderately well drained fine loamy to clayey soil with a moderately moist moisture regime. The depth of the organics was approximately 5 cm and the depth to bedrock exceeded 120 cm. Mottles were observed at a depth of 50 cm. No gleying was observed. Tall Shrub Swamp (Photo 8) Tall Shrub Swamp The canopy was dominated by speckled alder, black spruce and larch, which provided 25-50% cover. The subcanopy was composed of speckled alder, providing 25-50% cover. Plant species observed within the understorey include red- osier dogwood and Canada blue-joint. The ground layer was dominated by sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis). Other species observed within the ground layer include dwarf raspberry, spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), sheep-laurel, sweet-scented bedstraw, northern water-horehound, violet species, and red-stemmed aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum) . These species were observed to be evenly distributed throughout the ground layer with no November 2011 - 14 - Photo Vegetation Type Soil Type Description strong dominance exhibited. Soil within the ecosite was observed to be a very poorly drained fibric organic soil with a very wet moisture regime. The depth of the organics exceeded 120 cm. No mottles or gleying were observed. 3.3 Wildlife Characteristic wildlife of the region includes moose (Alces alces), black bear (Ursus americanus), lynx (Lynx canadensis), snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus), caribou (Rangifer tarandus), wolf (Canis lupus) and coyote (Canis latrans) (Environment Canada 2005). To provide supporting wildlife information, incidental observations were recorded during the 2010 field program. Table 2 summarizes the wildlife species recorded. TABLE 2 INCIDENTAL WILDLIFE OBSERVATIONS Scientific Name Common Name Srank* Status Mammals Alces alces moose S5 NAR Castor canadensis beaver S5 NAR Ursus amaricanus black bear S5 NAR Birds Anas crecca green-winged teal S4B,SZN NAR Carduelis flammea common redpoll S4B,SZN NAR Corvus corax common raven S5 NAR Lophodytes cacallatus hooded merganser S5B,SZN NAR Perisoreus canadensis gray jay S5 NAR Picoides pubescens downy woodpecker S5 NAR Picoides villosus hairy woodpecker S5 NAR Plectrophenax nivalis snow bunting SZB,SZN NAR Turdus migratorius American robin S5B,SZN NAR *Note: S4 – Apparently Secure S5 – Secure SZN – Non-breeding migrants/vagrants SZB – Breeding migrants/vagrants S#B – Breeding individuals NAR – Not at Risk November 2011 - 15 - 3.4 Species at Risk Based on the review of available species range information, there is potential for five federally listed species and five provincially listed species (three species listed by SARO and two species tracked by the NHIC) to occur in the Project region. Table 3 describes the species listed by COSEWIC, SARA-Schedule 1, SARO and the NHIC. Table 3 also describes the potential for these species to occur within the Project area based upon existing conditions, known habitat preference and availability, and species range information. Natural Resources Values Information provided by the OMNR indicated that there are no known sites of occurrence of and/or high value habitat for species of flora or fauna listed as threatened or endangered and no known sites of occurrence of flora or fauna identified as species of special concern within the Project area. November 2010 - 16 - TABLE 3 SPECIES AT RISK WITH POTENTIAL TO OCCUR IN THE PROJECT AREA SPECIES AT RISK (Listed by COSEWIC, SARA and COSSARO) Species Specifics Listed by: Habitat Potential for Species to Occur Within the Project Site Scientific Name Common Name COSEWIC SARA (Sch. 1) COSSARO NHIC (SRank)* Potential Rationale whip-poor-will Caprimulgus vociferus S4B threatened - threatened Typically found in areas with a mix of open and forested habitat, such as savannahs, open woodlands or openings in more mature, deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests. It forages in these open areas and uses forested areas for roosting (resting and sleeping) and nesting (MNR 2009). high Whip-poor-will was recorded as being present on the site. blanding's turtle Emydoidea blandingii S3 threatened threatened threatened Inhabits a network of lakes, streams, and wetlands, preferring shallow wetland areas with abundant vegetation. It can also spend significant portions of time in upland areas moving between wetlands. In a single season this highly mobile turtle has been known to travel up to 7 km in search of food or a mate [Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) 2010]. high The fire pond and drainage ditch has a high potential to provide overwintering habitat and was indicated as such by the MNR. Female Blanding's turtles will preferentially choose nesting locations in relatively open areas, such as fields, or disturbed habitats such as roadways and as a result may also be using terrestrial habitat on the Site. Falco peregrinus anatum peregrine falcon Special Concern Threatened Threatened S2S3B,SZN Nests are usually scrapes made on cliff ledges on steep cliffs, usually near wetlands - including artificial cliffs such as quarries and buildings; prefers to hunt in open habitats such as wetlands, tundra, savannah, sea coasts and mountain meadows, but will also hunt over open forest (SARA 2008). Low The Project area does not support the preferred habitat of the peregrine falcon. Steep cliffs were not observed within the Project area or adjacent lands. No peregrine falcon were observed during the field surveys. Rangifer tarandus caribou caribou, woodland Threatened Threatened Threatened S3 Many subpopulations of the woodland caribou boreal population show a preference for peatlands; they generally avoid clear cuts, shrub-rich habitat, and aspen-poplar dominated sites. The most common tree species in preferred habitats are black spruce, white spruce, and tamarack (SARA 2008). Low While black spruce stands were common in the Project area, many of the stands were interspersed with aspen species, which are often avoided by woodland caribou. No woodland caribou were observed during the field surveys. Asio flammeus short-eared owl Special Concern Special Concern (Sch. 3) Special Concern S3S4B,SZN Prefers extensive stretches of relatively open habitat; primarily a bird of marshland and deep grass fields (SARA 2008). Low The deep grassy fields and large marsh habitat preferred by the short-eared owl are not present in the Project area. No short-eared owls were observed during the field surveys. Chlidonias niger black tern Not at Risk Not Listed Special Concern S3B, SZN Builds floating nests in loose colonies in shallow marshes, especially in cattails (ROM 2006). Low Marsh habitat was observed in and around the Project area, representing appropriate habitat for the black tern. Although marsh habitat was observed in and around the Project area, the presence of the black tern has not been documented near the Project area. No black terns were observed during the field surveys. Aquila chrysaetos golden eagle Not at Risk Not Listed Endangered S1B, SZN Golden eagle typically inhabits mountain regions and dry, rugged open country and grasslands, over which it soars in search of small mammals and other prey. This eagle usually constructs a large stick nest on a cliff ledge. However, it occasionally nests in trees, and, in the far north, will nest directly Low The Project area lacks large, open tracts of land preferred by the golden eagles. No golden eagles were observed during the field surveys. November 2010 - 17 - SPECIES AT RISK (Listed by COSEWIC, SARA and COSSARO) Species Specifics Listed by: Habitat Potential for Species to Occur Within the Project Site Scientific Name Common Name COSEWIC SARA (Sch. 1) COSSARO NHIC (SRank)* Potential Rationale on the tundra (ROM 2008). Haliaeetus leucocephalus bald eagle, (N. Ontario) Not at Risk Not Listed Special Concern S4B, SZN Requires large continuous areas of mixed or deciduous woods with about 30% to 50% canopy cover around the shores of large rivers or lakes; nesting bald eagles are associated with lakes and rivers; usually selects the tallest living trees for nests (above the canopy and that offer a clear approach from all directions); requires tall, dead, partially dead or living trees near the nest for perching (LIO 2007). Low The Project area lacks large rivers or lakes required for foraging. The nearest large waterbodies (Nighthawk Lake and Frederick House Lake) are more than 2 km from the Project area. No bald eagles were observed during the field surveys. Danaus plexippus monarch Special concern Special Concern Special Concern S4 Found in Ontario wherever there are milkweed plants for its caterpillars and wildflowers for a nectar source; often found on abandoned farmland and roadsides, but also in city gardens and parks (ROM 2008). Low No common milkweed was observed on the Project area; however, some wildflowers were present. No monarch butterflies were observed during the field surveys. Somatochlora albicincta ringed emerald Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed S2S3 Lakes, ponds or streams with sparse emergent vegetation and forested margins (Biggs 2007). Low While Minnow Creek is a slow moving stream, the edges are densely vegetated with Typha latifolia and Carex species. No ringed emeralds were observed during the field surveys. Trichophorum clintonii Clinton’s leafless- bulrush Not Listed Not Listed Not Listed S2 Dry or springy, argillaceous or slaty ledges, gravel or open woods and turfy shores; open wetland or non-forested, seasonally wet areas, non-tidal rivershores (MDC 2004). Low Wetlands present on the Project area were either small and densely vegetated or treed with a black spruce cover; only small pockets of open meadow were present in the Project area. No Clinton’s leafless bulrush were observed during the field surveys. *Note: S1 – Critically imperiled S2 – Imperiled S3 – Vulnerable S4 – Apparently secure S5 – Secure SZN – Non-breeding migrants/vagrants S#B – Breeding individuals November 2010 - 18 - FISH AND FISH HABITAT 3.4.1 Fish Community A total of nine species [creek chub (Semotilus atromaculatus), brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans), pearl dace (Margariscus margarita), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), brassy minnow (Hybognathus hankinsoni), logperch (Percina caprodes), finescale dace (Phoxinus neogaeus), white sucker (Catostomus commersonii), and northern redbelly dace (Phoxinus eos)] were captured in Minnow Creek. The effort summary and species composition data are presented in Table 4 and the habitats typically preferred by these species are generally described in Table 5. TABLE 4 CATCH SUMMARY AND SPECIES COMPOSITION OF FISH FOR MINNOW CREEK Location Method Effort (# of sets) Effort (total time set in hrs) Species Caught Count Minnow Creek Hoop Net 2 34.1 Creek chub 2 Brook stickleback 20 Pearl dace 7 Fathead minnow 2 Brassy minnow 6 Logperch 2 Finescale dace 4 White sucker 1 Minnow Trap 8 126.8 Creek chub 13 Brook stickleback 44 Pearl dace 1 Brassy minnow 1 Finescale dace 15 November 2010 - 19 - Location Method Effort (# of sets) Effort (total time set in hrs) Species Caught Count Northern redbelly dace 4 Electrofishing NA Shock time 1340 seconds Creek chub 24 Brook stickleback 87 Fathead minnow 5 Brassy minnow 6 Finescale dace 3 Northern redbelly dace 21 White sucker 1 TABLE 5 HABITAT REQUIREMENTS OF FISH SPECIES CAPTURED IN MINNOW CREEK Species General Habitat Requirements* Spawning Habitat* Creek chub pools of clear creeks and small rivers; rare in lakes and large rivers; preferred water temperature 20.8°C riverine Brook stickleback vegetated lake margins, ponds, and clear, quiet to flowing pools and backwaters of creeks and small rivers; occasionally brackish water; preferred water temperature 21.3°C lacustrine; riverine Pearl dace pools of cool, clear headwater streams, bogs, ponds and small lakes with sand or gravel bottoms; preferred water temperature 16.2°C lacustrine; riverine Fathead minnow still waters of ponds, lakes, creeks and small rivers; preferred water temperature range 23- 29°C lacustrine; riverine November 2010 - 20 - Species General Habitat Requirements* Spawning Habitat* Brassy minnow pools of sluggish, clear creeks and small rivers with sand or gravel substrates, boggy lakes and shallow bays lacustrine; riverine logperch sand, gravel or rocky beaches in lakes and over similar substrates in streams and rivers lacustrine; riverine Finescale dace lakes, bogs, ponds and sluggish pools of creeks and small rivers with silty substrates and aquatic vegetation lacustrine; riverine White sucker pools and riffles of creeks and rivers, warm shallow lakes and embayments of larger lakes usually at depths of 6-9 m; preferred water temperature range 22-26°C lacustrine; riverine Northern redbelly dace lakes, bogs, ponds and pools of creeks with organic substrates and aquatic vegetation lacustrine; riverine Note: * Habitat information taken from the Ontario Freshwater Fishes Life History Data Base (Eakins 2008) Surface water quality data recorded during the aquatic field program were collected to describe habitat characteristics and are presented in Table 6. All measured water quality parameters were higher at the downstream sampling station than the upstream sampling station along Minnow Creek. TABLE 6 HABITAT CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH FISH SPECIES CAPTURED IN MINNOW CREEK Station Water Temperature (°C) Dissolved Oxygen (mg/L) pH Conductivity (µS/cm) Up Stream 6.37 6.65 6.37 225 Down Stream 8.00 8.88 6.68 246 November 2010 - 21 - 3.4.2 Fish Habitat Two major habitat types were observed within Minnow Creek. Near the Access Road habitat was observed to be a silt substrate, with organic material present. Stream morphology in this reach consists of a low quality run through a breached beaver impoundment, with small pools formed immediately on either side of the access road (Figure 5). South of the Access Road, vegetation is dominated by speckled alder shrubs (Alnus incana) and cattails (Typha latifolia). North of the Access Road, graminoid species such as reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) and cattails dominate the vegetation. Downstream from the Access Road, a low quality run flows through graminoid vegetation into a large pool (Figure 6). Water flows from the large pool, through a culvert under the tracks to a small pool on the north side of the tracks. The water is then diverted through a second culvert under a mine road, resulting in a low quality run on the north side of the mine road. Substrate in this reach was observed to be predominantly cobble and sand with silt present. A higher proportion of submerged aquatic vegetation was observed at this reach. The upland habitat adjacent to this reach was a mixed forest with the dominant tree species including black spruce, and aspen species providing much of the overhanging cover. 3.5 Benthic Invertebrates Results for the benthic invertebrate community are currently being processed and will be presented at a later date. 3.5.1 Sediment Characteristics Sediment collected from each of the benthic sampling sites was dominantly organic muck and contained intact woody debris. At many sampling locations the sediment was dark brown with an organic odour. Particle size analysis of the substrate indicated that substrate composition of the habitats sampled within Minnow Creek had a range in sand composition of 7.9 – 59.2% and a silt/clay composition of 40.8 – 92.1% (Table 7). Sediments sampled from upstream locations had a similar proportion of silt/clay and sand composition as sediments sampled downstream. November 2010 - 22 - TABLE 7 SEDIMENT SAMPLE CHARACTERISTICS Parameter Units Location Up Stream-1 Up Stream -2 Up Stream -3 Down Stream-1 Down Stream -2 Down Stream -3 % Moisture % 80.7 90.7 89.4 78.1 83.3 72.3 Clay %(w/w) 2
WATER MANAGEMENT POLICIES GUIDELINES PROVINCIAL WATER QUALITY OBJECTIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY JULY, 1994 ISBN 0-7778-8473-9 rev WATER MANAGEMENT POLICIES GUIDELINES PROVINCIAL WATER QUALITY OBJECTIVES OF THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY JULY 1994 Reprinted February 1999 Cette publication technique n'est disponible qu'en anglais. Copyright: Queen's Printer for Ontario, 1994 This publication may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. PIBS 3303E 7$%/(�2)�&217(176 ��� ,1752'8&7,21 ��� 3UHDPEOH ��� %DFNJURXQG ��� 02(( V�/HJLVODWLYH�$XWKRULW\ ��� 7KH�3ULQFLSOHV�DQG�*XLGHOLQHV�RI�:DWHU�0DQDJHPHQW *HQHUDO (FRV\VWHP�0DQDJHPHQW (QYLURQPHQWDO�3URWHFWLRQ�DQG�0XOWL�0HGLD�&RQVLGHUDWLRQV D� 3ROOXWLRQ�3UHYHQWLRQ E� 0DQDJHPHQW�RI�+D]DUGRXV�6XEVWDQFHV F� 0XQLFLSDO�DQG�,QGXVWULDO�6WUDWHJ\�IRU�$EDWHPHQW��0,6$�� :DWHUVKHG�3ODQQLQJ ��� 3529,1&,$/�:$7(5�48$/,7 100 0.1 0.5 Camphene CAS No. 79-92-5 2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Carbaryl CAS No. 63-25-2 0.2 )g/L (PWQO)18 � adopted Canadian Water Quality Guideline a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 13 Chlordane CAS No. 57-74-9 0.06 )g/L (PWQO)1 Chlorine CAS No. 7782-50-5 2 )g/L (PWQO)1 � Total residual chlorine, as measured by the amperometric (or equivalent) method. Chlorobenzene CAS No. 108-90-7 15 )g/L (PWQO)2 � common synonym monochlorobenzene Chlorodibromo- methane CAS No. 124-48-1 40 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Chloromethane CAS No. 74-87-3 700 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - methyl chloride Chloronaphthalene, 1- CAS No. 90-13-1 0.1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Chloronaphthalene, 2- CAS No. 91-58-7 0.2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Chlorophenyl phenyl ether, 4- CAS No. 7005-72-3 0.05 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Chlorpyrifos CAS No. 2921-88-2 0.001 )g/L (PWQO)1 � common synonym - Dursban Chloro-3-methyl phenol, 4- CAS No. 59-50-7 3 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Chromium CAS No. 7440-47-3 1 )g/L (PWQO)18 for hexavalent chromium (Cr VI) 8.9 )g/L (PWQO)18 for trivalent chromium (Cr III) � adopted Canadian Water Quality Guidelines Chrysene CAS No. 218-01-9 0.0001 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Cineole CAS No. 470-82-6 100 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Cobalt CAS No. 7440-48-4 0.9 )g/L (PWQO)16 Copper CAS No. 7440-50-8 5 )g/L (PWQO)1 copper revised - see next page a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 14 Copper (revised) CAS No. 7440-50-8 Interim PWQOb: (See Section 1.10 - Where both a PWQO and an Interim PWQO exist) Hardness as CaCO3 (mg/L) Interim PWQO ())g/L) 0 - 20 > 20 1 5 Cresol, m- CAS No. 108-39-4 o- CAS No. 95-48-7 p- CAS No. 106-44-5 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b � can be applied to all three isomers � common synonym - methylphenol Cyanide CAS No. 57-12-5 5 )g/L (PWQO)1 � PWQO is for free cyanide in an unfiltered water sample. Cyclohexanamine CAS No. 108-91-8 50 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � common synonym - cyclohexylamine Cyclohexanol CAS No. 108-93-0 1000 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a 2,4-D (BEE) CAS No. 1929-73-3 4 )g/L (PWQO)1 � chemical name 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid - (2-butoxyethyl) ester Dalapon CAS No. 75-99-0 110 )g/L (PWQO)1 DDT & metabolites CAS No. 50-29-3 0.003 )g/L (PWQO)1 � PWQO is for the sum of DDT, DDD (CAS No. 72-54-8) and DDE (CAS No. 72-55-9) Dehydroabietic acid (DHA) CAS No. 1740-19-8 Interim PWQO5: See Resin Acids Diazinon CAS No. 333-41-5 0.08 )g/L (PWQO)1 Dibenzofuran CAS No. 132-64-9 0.3 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dibenz[a,h]anthracene CAS No. 53-70-3 0.002 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dibutylamine CAS No. 111-92-2 8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dibutylphthalate CAS No. 84-74-2 4 )g/L (PWQO)1 � common synonym - di-n-butylphthalate a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 15 Dicamba CAS No. 1918-00-9 200 )g/L (PWQO)1 Dichlorobenzene, 1,2- CAS No. 95-50-1 2.5 )g/L (PWQO)2 Dichlorobenzene, 1,3- CAS No. 541-73-1 2.5 )g/L (PWQO)2 Dichlorobenzene, 1,4- CAS No. 106-46-7 4 )g/L (PWQO)2 Dichlorobenzidine, 3,3'- CAS No. 91-94-1 0.6 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dichlorobut-3-ene, 1,2- CAS No. 760-23-6 10 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dichloroethane, 1,1- CAS No. 75-34-3 200 )g/L (Interim PWQO)6 Dichloroethane, 1,2- CAS No. 107-06-2 100 )g/L (Interim PWQO)6 Dichloroethylene, 1,1- CAS No. 75-35-4 40 )g/L (Interim PWQO)6 Dichloroethylene, 1,2- CAS No. cis - 156-59-2, trans - 156-60-5 200 )g/L (Interim PWQO)6 � Interim PWQO applies to both the cis & trans 1,2-dichloroethylene. Dichloroguaiacol, 4,5- CAS No. 2460-49-3 6 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dichlorophenols CAS No. various 0.2 )g/L (PWQO)3 � PWQO can be applied to all 6 isomers: 2,3-, 2,4-, 2,5-, 2,6-, 3,4-, 3,5-dichlorophenol Dichloropropane, 1,2- CAS No. 78-87-5 0.7 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dichloropropylene, trans-1,3 CAS No. 10061-02-6 7 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dieldrin/Aldrin See Aldrin/Dieldrin Diethylene glycol CAS No. 111-46-6 11000 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 16 Diethylhexylphthalate CAS No. 117-81-7 0.6 )g/L (PWQO)1 � common synonyms bis-2-ethylhexylphthalate, dioctylphthalate Diethyl-m-toluamide, N,N- CAS No. 134-62-3 200 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - DEET Dimethyl disulphide CAS No. 624-92-0 0.2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dimethylamine CAS No. 124-40-3 3 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dimethylbenzylamine CAS No. 103-83-3 40 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dimethylformamide, N,N- CAS No. 68-12-2 5000 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Dimethylnaphthalene, 1,3- CAS No.575-41-7 0.09 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b � When a mixture of dimethylnaphthalenes is found, the most restrictive Interim PWQO of 0.02 )g/L should apply. Dimethylnaphthalene, 2,6- CAS No. 581-42-0 0.02 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dimethylphenol, 2,4- CAS No. 105-67-9 10 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dimethylphenol, 2,6- CAS No. 576-26-1 8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dimethylphenol, 3,4- CAS No. 95-65-8 20 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dinitrobenzene, m- CAS No. 99-65-0 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dinitrobenzene, o- CAS No. 528-29-0 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dinitrobenzene, p- CAS No. 100-25-4 2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dinitrotoluene, 2,4- CAS No. 121-14-2 4 )g/L (Interim PWQO)17 Dinitrotoluene, 2,6- CAS No. 606-20-2 6 )g/L (Interim PWQO)17 a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 17 Dinitro-o-cresol, 4,6- CAS No. 534-52-1 0.2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Dioxane, 1,4- CAS No. 123-91-1 20 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Diphenyl ether CAS No. 101-84-8 0.03 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Diphenylamine CAS No. 122-39-4 3 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - N,N-diphenylamine Diphenylhydrazine, 1,2- CAS No. 122-66-7 0.3 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - hydrazobenzene Diquat CAS No. 2764-72-9 0.5 )g/L (PWQO)1 Dissolved gases CAS No. NA PWQO1: To protect aquatic organisms, the total dissolved gas concentrations in water should not exceed 110 percent of the saturation value for gases at the existing atmospheric and hydrostatic pressures. Dissolved oxygen CAS No. NA PWQO1: Dissolved oxygen concentrations should not be less than the values specified below for cold water biota (e.g. salmonid fish communities) and warm water biota (e.g. centrarchid fish communities): Dissolved Oxygen Concentration Temperature Cold Water Biota Warm Water Biota (C % Saturation mg/L % Saturation mg/L 0 5 10 15 20 25 54 54 54 54 57 63 8 7 6 6 5 5 47 47 47 47 47 48 7 6 5 5 4 4 In waters inhabited by sensitive biological communities, or in situations where additional physical or chemical stressors are operating, more stringent criteria may be required. For example, a sensitive species such as lake trout may require more specific water quality objectives. In some hypolimnetic waters, dissolved oxygen is naturally lower than the concentrations specified in the above table. Such a condition should not be altered by adding oxygen- demanding materials causing a depletion of oxygen. Diuron CAS No. 330-54-1 1.6 )g/L (PWQO)1 Divinyl benzene CAS No. 1321-74-0 8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Di-n-butylamine CAS No. 111-92-2 8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 18 Di-n-butyltin CAS No. 683-18-1 0.08 )g/L (Interim PWQO)12 Di-t-butyl-4- methylphenol, 2,6- CAS No. 128-37-0 0.2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Endosulfan CAS No. 115-29-7 0.003 )g/L (PWQO)1 � PWQO is for the sum of two isomers - alpha Endosulfan (I) and beta Endosulfan (II) Endrin CAS No. 72-20-8 0.002 )g/L (PWQO)1 Escherichia coli CAS No. NA 100 E. coli per 100 mL (based on a geometric mean of at least 5 samples) � Based on a recreational water quality guideline published by the Ontario Ministry of Health in 1992. This Ministry of Health guideline was specifically intended for application by the local Medical Officer of Health to swimming and bathing beaches. It is based upon a geometric mean of levels of E. coli determined from a minimum of 5 samples per site taken within a given swimming area and collected within a one month period. If the geometric mean E. coli level for the sample series at a given site exceeds 100 per 100 mL, the site should be considered unsuitable for swimming and bathing. E. coli was selected for the guideline because studies have determined that, among bacteria of the coliform group, E. coli is the most suitable and specific indicator of fecal contamination. An analytical test with a high degree of specificity for E. coli regardless of water sample source, requiring no confirmation procedures, and which produces results in 21 hours has been developed and adopted by both the Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Environment and Energy laboratories. Where testing indicates sewage or fecal contamination, a site-specific judgement must be made as to the severity of the problem and the appropriate course of action. As of May 1, 1994, MOEE staff have been advised to base all new compliance, enforcement and monitoring activities on the E. coli test. Some water managers may find it necessary to continue testing for fecal coliforms or total coliforms. For example, where testing at a long term water quality monitoring station requires a continuous record of results using either the fecal or total coliform test to monitor trends in water quality. As a benchmark for the long term monitoring results, the former objectives for fecal coliforms and total coliforms are referenced for your information. For fecal coliforms the objective was a 100 counts per 100 ml (based on a geometric mean density for a series of water samples). For total coliforms the objective was 1000 counts per 100 ml (based on a geometric mean density for a series of water samples). Ethanolamine CAS No. 141-43-5 200 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - 2-aminoethanol Ethylbenzene CAS No. 100-41-4 8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)9 Ethylene diamine CAS No. 107-15-3 0.1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Ethylene dibromide CAS No. 106-93-4 5 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 19 Ethylene glycol CAS No. 107-21-1 2000 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Ethylene thiourea CAS No. 96-45-7 60 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Eugenol CAS No. 97-53-0 30 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Fenthion CAS No. 55-38-9 0.006 )g/L (PWQO)1 Fluoranthene CAS No. 206-44-0 0.0008 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Fluorene CAS No. 86-73-7 0.2 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Formaldehyde CAS No. 50-00-0 0.8 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Furfuryl alcohol CAS No. 98-00-0 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Guaiacol CAS No. 90-05-1 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a � synonym - 2-methoxyphenol Guthion CAS No. 86-50-0 0.005 )g/L (PWQO)1 Heptachlor & CAS No. 76-44-8 Heptachlor epoxide CAS No. 1024-57-3 0.001 )g/L (PWQO)1 � sum of heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide Hexachlorobenzene CAS No. 118-74-1 0.0065 )g/L (PWQO)2 Hexachlorobutadiene CAS No. 87-68-3 0.009 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Hexachlorocyclo- pentadiene CAS No. 77-47-4 0.06 )g/L (Interim PWQO) Hexachloroethane CAS No. 67-72-1 1 )g/L (Interim PWQO)b Hydrogen sulphide CAS No. 7783-06-4 2 )g/L (PWQO)1 �� undissociated hydrogen sulphide Hydroxybiphenyl, 2- CAS No. 90-43-7 6 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a a See Section 1.2.3. This Interim PWQO was set for emergency purposes based on the best information readily available. Employ due caution when applying this value. b See Section 1.2.2. This Interim PWQO is currently under development. The value is subject to change upon publication by MOEE. 1-21 References for criteria development documents - see last page of Table 2. 20 Iodine CAS No. 7553-56-2 100 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Iron CAS No. 7439-89-6 300 )g/L (PWQO)1 Isopropyl alcohol CAS No. 67-63-0 300 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Lead CAS No. 7439-92-1 PWQO1: Alkalinity as CaCO3 (mg/L) PWQO ())g/L) < 20 20 to 40 40 to 80 > 80 5 10 20 25 Lead (revised) CAS No. 7439-92-1 Interim PWQOb: (See Section 1.10 - Where both a PWQO and an Interim PWQO exist) Hardness as CaCO3 (mg/L) Interim PWQO ())g/L) < 30 30 to 80 > 80 1 3 5 Limonene CAS No. 138-86-3 4 )g/L (Interim PWQO)a Lindane CAS No. 58-89-9 0.01 )g/L (PWQO)1 � chemical name: gamma - 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexa
ICMM – International Council on Mining and Metals The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) is a CEO-led organisation comprising many of the world’s leading mining and metals companies as well as regional, national and commodity associations, all of which are committed to improving their sustainable development performance and to the responsible production of the mineral and metal resources society needs. ICMM’s vision is a viable mining, minerals and metals industry that is widely recognised as essential for modern living and a key contributor to sustainable development. Our library at www.goodpracticemining.com has case studies and other examples of leading practices. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity www.icmm.com ICMM 19 Stratford Place London W1C 1BQ United Kingdom Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7290 4920 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7290 4921 Email: info@icmm.com G ood P ractice G uidance for M ining and B iodiversity IC M M Good Practice Guidance for Mining and BiodiversityGood Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity Contents 1 Acknowledgements 4 Foreword 5 SECTION A: BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW 1. Introduction 8 1.1 Background 9 1.2 Biodiversity and why it is valuable 10 1.2.1 What is biodiversity? 10 1.2.2 Why is biodiversity valuable? 10 1.2.3 Relevance to mining operations 12 1.3 Why mining companies should consider biodiversity 13 1.4 The importance of stakeholder engagement 15 1.5 Scope and structure of the Good Practice Guidance 16 1.51 Scope 16 1.5.2 Structure 16 SECTION B: MANAGING BIODIVERSITY AT DIFFERENT OPERATIONAL STAGES 2. Integrating Biodiversity into Project Development 22 2.1 Introduction 23 2.2 Exploration 24 2.2.1 Early stages of exploration 25 2.2.2 Exploration drilling 26 2.3 Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies 28 2.3.1 Pre-feasibility stage 31 2.3.2 Feasibility stage 31 2.4 Construction 32 2.4.1 Access for construction and ancillary infrastructure 32 2.4.2 Land clearance and resettlement 33 2.4.3 Construction-related infrastructure 33 3. Integrating Biodiversity into Operations 34 3.1 Introduction 35 3.2 Ancillary infrastructure: operational considerations 36 3.3 Operations: ore extraction, processing and waste disposal 36 3.3.1 Ore extraction and processing 36 3.3.2 Management of tailings 39 3.4 Opportunities for biodiversity protection or enhancement 40 Contents 1 4. Integrating Biodiversity into Closure Planning and Implementation 42 4.1 Introduction 43 4.2 Closure planning: Establishing objectives and targets 44 4.3 Closure implementation: Rehabilitation and pollution prevention 47 SECTION C: MANAGEMENT, ASSESSMENT, MITIGATION AND REHABILITATION SYSTEMS, TOOLS AND PROCESSES 5. Management Systems and Assessment Tools 54 5.1 Introduction 55 5.2 Environmental and Social Impact Assessments 55 5.2.1 Introduction to the ESIA framework 55 5.2.2 Screening and scoping of biodiversity issues 56 5.2.3 Baseline studies: when, how and practical considerations 57 5.2.4 Evaluating biodiversity importance 60 5.2.5 Impact identification and assessment 61 5.2.6 Monitoring and interpreting changes in biodiversity 63 5.3 Environmental Management Systems 64 5.3.1 Securing a corporate commitment 65 5.3.2 Determining significant biodiversity aspects 66 5.3.3 Establishing targets and objectives 68 5.3.4 Biodiversity Action Plans 68 5.3.5 Implementation considerations 70 5.3.6 Checking and corrective action 71 5.3.7 Monitoring and reporting 71 5.3.8 Management review and continuous improvement 73 5.4 Extending the reach of conventional analyses 73 5.4.1 Factors affecting the maturity of the conservation context 74 5.4.2 Assessing non-mining-related threats to biodiversity 76 6. Stakeholder Engagement Tools and Processes 80 6.1 Introduction 81 6.2 Identification and analysis of biodiversity stakeholders 81 6.3 Engagement with biodiversity stakeholders 83 6.3.1 Timing and scope of stakeholder engagement 83 6.3.2 In-depth engagement with potential partners 86 Contents Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 2 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 7. Mitigation, Rehabilitation and Enhancement Tools 90 7.1 Introduction 91 7.2 Selection of mitigation measures 91 7.3 Rehabilitation planning and implementation 93 7.3.1 Site preparation 93 7.3.2 Rehabilitation implementation and maintenance 96 7.3.3 Ongoing monitoring and research 97 7.4 Biodiversity offsets 99 7.5 Enhancement of biodiversity at various levels 100 7.6 Defining boundaries of responsibility for mitigation, rehabilitation or enhancement 103 SECTION D: SUPPORTING MATERIALS 110 Acronyms used 111 Sources of Information, by Chapter, and General References on Biodiversity 112 Checklists 118 Contents 3 This report was prepared by Sally Johnson, a private consultant. ICMM is very grateful to her for an excellent piece of work. The first phase of work was carried out by ERM Australia, with the Australian Centre for Minerals Extension and Research (ACMER). This project was conceived as a part of the IUCN-ICMM Dialogue. An ICMM-IUCN Advisory Group assisted ICMM in developing the Good Practice Guidance. The group consisted of Andrea Athanas (IUCN), Assheton Carter (Conservation International), Richard Cellarius (co-chair, Sierra Club), Peter Coombes (from January 2005, Anglo American), John Gardner (co-chair, Alcoa), Kristal Maze (South African National Biodiversity Institute), Andrew Parsons (ICMM), Robert Prairie (Falconbridge), Michael Rae (then at WWF Australia and now at the Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices), Dave Richards (Rio Tinto) and Phil Tanner (until December 2004, Anglo American). ICMM appreciates their guidance and support and the many hours they put into reviewing drafts. While IUCN and some of its members assisted in the development, this Good Practice Guidance remains an ICMM product, and ICMM takes full responsibility for its content. It is designed to help ICMM members address biodiversity conservation in their policies and operations. Other business sectors are also welcome to use the guidance, as they may find it relevant and useful for their work. It is important that management guidance be based on real experience. ICMM thanks the many reviewers and contributors who provided factual input for incorporation into this document. Acknowledgements Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 4 The mining and metals industry’s biodiversity conservation performance is under increasing scrutiny from NGOs, commentators and financial analysts. This is due in part to a growing awareness of the importance of biodiversity conservation, but also because the industry often operates in remote and environmentally sensitive areas of the world. Demonstrating a commitment to biodiversity conservation is now an essential element of sustainable development for the mining and metals industry. ICMM members are committed to improving their performance in this area, and also to taking a role in educating governments and the public about the benefits that the mining and metals industry can play in biodiversity conservation. Principle 7 of ICMM’s Sustainable Development Framework states our commitment to “contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning”. This document is intended to assist members (and others) to meet this commitment by providing relevant guidance to managers in corporate and site offices. The development of this ICMM publication was undertaken as a part of the IUCN- ICMM Dialogue. A joint workshop at IUCN’s Headquarters in Gland in July 2003 agreed on the need to develop it, and also the structure of the document. While the document has been developed by ICMM for its members, we are thankful to IUCN for its association and help in its development. We are also very grateful to the many individuals, and particularly the ICMM-IUCN Advisory Group and ICMM’s Biodiversity Working Group for the long hours they spent in reviewing countless drafts. A two- month public consultation process during 2005 also provided very valuable input to the process. Alongside this publication, we published two discussion papers on biodiversity offsets in 2005 as an output of the Dialogue and a contribution to efforts to improve biodiversity conservation. A set of good practice case studies was published with IUCN in 2004 to show what can be achieved and I commend that document to readers as a companion to this one. We trust that this document will encourage and guide ICMM members to invest in the challenges of becoming positive contributors to biodiversity conservation. The return on that investment will be responsible and sustainable access to mineral resources and a role in their development. Paul Mitchell Secretary General Foreword Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 5 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 6 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 7 SECTION A: Background and Overview 1.1 Background 9 Discusses what prompted ICMM to develop the good practice guidance and how it relates to the IUCN/ICMM dialogue on mining and biodiversity. 1.2 Biodiversity and why it is valuable 10 Defines biodiversity and discusses why it is valuable – in terms of the environmental services it provides that people depend on as well as its intrinsic value. 1.3 Why mining companies should consider biodiversity 13 Outlines the sound business reasons why many mining companies are adopting an increasingly sophisticated approach to managing biodiversity. 1.4 The importance of stakeholder engagement 15 Identifies biodiversity stakeholders and highlights the importance of mining companies engaging with stakeholders on understanding and managing biodiversity. 1.5 Structure and scope of the Good Practice Guidance 16 Provides a route map to the content of the GPG and illustrates the conceptual approach adopted for the GPG. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 8 Chapter 1. Introduction 1.1 Background In May 2003, the ICMM Council approved a set of sustainable development principles and committed its corporate membership to measure performance against them. One of the principles explicitly addresses the conservation of biodiversity: Principle 7: Contribute to conservation of biodiversity and integrated approaches to land use planning. In parallel with the development of the sustainable development principles, ICMM was engaged in dialogue with a range of stakeholders, most notably with IUCN, to understand more clearly the interfaces between mining operations and biodiversity. At the World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002, IUCN and ICMM launched a joint dialogue on mining and biodiversity. The objective was to provide a platform for communities, corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and government to engage in a dialogue regarding balancing ecosystem protection with the social and economic importance of mining. Formal terms of reference for an IUCN/ICMM dialogue were agreed to in March 2003 and revised in June 2004, and the dialogue is ongoing. Partly as a result of this engagement and exchange of ideas, an elaboration of sustainable development Principle 7 committed ICMM members to: • respect legally designated protected areas; • disseminate scientific data on and promote practices and experiences in biodiversity assessment and management; and • support the development and implementation of scientifically sound, inclusive and transparent procedures for integrated approaches to land use planning, biodiversity, conservation and mining. At a July 2003 joint IUCN/ICMM workshop in Gland, ICMM also committed to developing and promoting a library of good practice guidelines and case studies in order to support member companies implementing and measuring performance against the principles. This Good Practice Guidance (GPG) has been prepared in response to that commitment. It is aimed at providing the mining industry with the steps required to improve biodiversity management throughout the mining cycle. By implementing this guidance, mining companies should be better placed to: • identify and evaluate biodiversity; • understand the interfaces between their activities and biodiversity; • assess the likelihood of their activities having negative impacts on biodiversity; • develop mitigation measures for potential impacts on biodiversity and rehabilitation strategies for affected areas; and • explore the potential to contribute to biodiversity enhancement or conservation. The GPG is complemented by a companion volume prepared by IUCN and ICMM in 2004, Integrating Mining and Biodiversity Conservation: Case Studies from Around the World. The GPG is aimed at mining professionals with direct experience of or responsibility for environmental aspects and other mining specialists, such as those engaged in exploration or feasibility studies. The GPG is intended to help develop knowledge and capacity, and it also signals where specialist biodiversity support may be desirable or essential. In addition, the GPG should support more constructive relationships or partnerships between mining and biodiversity professionals by promoting enhanced mutual understanding. In this respect, the GPG is not only about enhancing mining Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 9 professionals’ understanding of biodiversity but also about enhancing biodiversity specialists’ understanding of mining. 1.2 Biodiversity and why it is valuable 1.2.1 What is biodiversity? At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed by 157 governments; it has since been ratified by 188 countries. The CBD defines biodiversity as: The variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. So biodiversity encompasses the variety and variability of life on Earth. It refers to the differences within and between all living organisms at their different levels of biological organization – genes, individuals, species and ecosystems. Biodiversity embraces all living organisms and their genetic diversity, a vast and complex array of ecosystems and habitats, as well as the processes that underpin and result from this diversity, such as photosynthesis, nutrient cycling or pollination. Different species – plant, animal, fungal and microbial – interact with each other in a variety of ecological processes to form ecosystems. These processes are in turn the result of the interactions between species and with their physical and chemical environments. 1.2.2 Why is biodiversity valuable? The combination of a diversity of life forms and their interactions with each other and with the rest of the environment has made Earth a uniquely habitable place for humans. Biodiversity sustains human livelihoods and life itself. The interdependence between people and biodiversity is most apparent for some indigenous peoples, who may lead a subsistence lifestyle and be critically dependent on biodiversity, or whose culture and history are intimately associated with the natural environment and systems. In many Western cultures, although our dependence on biodiversity has becomes less tangible and apparent, it remains critically important. At a macro-level, the balancing of atmospheric gases through photosynthesis and carbon sequestration is reliant on biodiversity, while an estimated 40 per cent of the global economy is based on biological products and processes1. Through a close interaction with and manipulation of biodiversity, humans have created thousands of new crop varieties and livestock breeds, with distinct development benefits. This has enabled large increases in the production of food and other natural materials, which have fed the growth and development of human societies. Biodiversity is also the basis of innumerable environmental services that keep us and the natural environment alive – from the provision of clean water and watershed services to the recycling of nutrients and pollination. These so-called ecosystem services include: • soil formation and maintenance of soil fertility (through nutrient cycling); • primary production through photosynthesis, as the supportive foundation for all life; • provision of food, fuel and fibre; • provision of shelter and building materials; Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 10 1 WEHAB Working Group. 2002. “A Framework for Action on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management.” New York: United Nations. Available at ww.johannesburgsummit.org/html/documents/summit_docs/wehab_papers/wehab_biodiversity.pdf. • regulation of water flows and the maintenance of water quality; • regulation and purification of atmospheric gases; • moderation of climate and weather; • detoxification and decomposition of wastes; • pollination of plants, including many crops; • control of pests and diseases; and • maintenance of genetic resources (key to crop and livestock breeding, medicines, and so on). Figure 1.1 Categories of ecosystem services ecosystem services Life on Earth – Biodiversity Source: Millenium Ecosystem Assessment In addition to these essential ecosystem services (classified as supporting, provisioning and regulating by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment), biodiversity is also of value for aesthetic, spiritual, cultural, recreational and scientific reasons (see Figure 1.1). The intrinsic value of biodiversity stems from a nonutilitarian philosophy that views biodiversity as intrinsically valuable in its own right, irrespective of its contribution to human well-being. More tangibly, in some parts of the world (particularly those with low agricultural productivity), the survival of many people depends on biodiversity. While our understanding of the value of biodiversity has improved in recent years, so too has our appreciation of significant threats to it. The current pressures on and related losses of biodiversity are threatening to undermine the ecosystem services we all depend on. Over the past 50 years, many ecosystems have been degraded more rapidly and extensively than at any time in history. As populations have grown, so has the demand for food, timber, fuel and other natural materials. While many of the world’s peoples have experienced economic and social gains over this period – in which the increasing demand for minerals has played an important role – the consequences of biodiversity changes and losses have profoundly affected some of the poorest communities. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment concluded the following: Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 11 Supporting Nutrient cycling • Soil formation • Primary production Provisioning •Food •Fresh water •Wood and fiber •Fuel Cultural •Aesthetic •Spiritual •Educational •Recreational Regulating •Climate regulation •Flood regulation •Disease regulation •Water and air purification • Approximately 60 per cent of ecosystem services are being degraded or used unsustainably. • There is established but incomplete evidence that ecosystem changes are increasingly becoming nonlinear (accelerating, abrupt or potentially irreversible, reaching ‘tipping points’ or passing thresholds), with potential adverse consequences for humanity. • The harmful effects of the degradation of ecosystem services are borne disproportionately by the poor. In summary, the threats to biodiversity are compelling. Unless they are addressed in a holistic manner, which takes social and economic as well as scientific considerations into account, the benefits of ecosystem services will be substantially diminished for future generations. Furthermore, the next 50 years could see a further acceleration in the degradation of ecosystem services unless action is taken to reverse current trends. This is incompatible with the concept of sustainable development, which aims to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity are to encourage and enable all countries to: • conserve biodiversity; • sustainably use the various components of biodiversity; and • share the benefits arising from the commercial and other use of biodiversity in a fair and equitable manner. In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit, the parties to the CBD committed themselves to a more effective and coherent implementation of the three objectives of the CBD. The objective was to achieve a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels by 2010 as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment illustrates the enormity of this challenge. There is increasingly a recognition of the potential role that business has to play in concert with governments and civil society in achieving a holistic response. In 2005, meetings in London and São Paulo organized by the CBD Secretariat explored opportunities for engaging business in biodiversity issues as a means of working towards the 2010 target. This will likely become the focus of business engagement on biodiversity issues in the next five years. 1.2.3 Relevance to mining operations Mining has the potential to affect biodiversity throughout the life cycle of a project, both directly and indirectly. Direct or primary impacts from mining can result from any activity that involves land clearance (such as access road construction, exploration drilling, overburden stripping or tailings impoundment construction) or direct discharges to water bodies (riverine tailings disposal, for instance, or tailings impoundment releases) or the air (such as dusts or smelter emissions). Direct impacts are usually readily identifiable. Indirect or secondary impacts can result from social or environmental changes induced by mining operations and are often harder to identify immediately. Cumulative impacts occur where mining projects are developed in environments that are influenced by other projects, both mining and nonmining. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 12 The potential for significant impacts is greater when mining occurs in remote, environmentally or socially sensitive areas. Due to the continuing demand for minerals, the depletion of resources in readily accessible areas and changing technologies and economics in the mining sector, mining is increasingly being proposed in remote and biodiversity-rich ecosystems that were previously unexplored and undeveloped for minerals. This has also been made possible by the implementation of mining sector fiscal and regulatory reforms to encourage foreign direct investment in many developing countries. This trend in opening up new prospective areas to mineral resources development provides an opportunity for the mining industry to demonstrate that practices have improved, including making ‘no- go’ decisions. It can also represent a threat, however, and poor performance could limit access to some highly prospective areas. Despite the significant potential for negative impacts on biodiversity from mining operations, there is a great deal that companies can do to minimize or prevent such impacts in areas identified as being appropriate for mining. There are also many opportunities for companies to enhance biodiversity conservation within their areas of operations. Being proactive in the assessment and management of biodiversity is important not only for new operations but also for those that have been operating for many years, usually under regulatory requirements that were less focused on the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. It is also important to recognize that not all mining takes place in remote or highly sensitive areas. Some greenfield or expansion projects will be developed in relatively highly populated areas, industrial settings or regions that have been intensively farmed for many decades, where biodiversity is of limited value. This will become apparent after a modest investment of effort to establish the biodiversity context of a proposed project (see section 5.2.2 on screening and scoping of biodiversity issues). In such situations, the focus should be on developing a sufficient understanding of local biodiversity and exploring opportunities for biodiversity enhancement or creative conservation with appropriate partners. 1.3 Why mining companies should consider biodiversity Setting aside any ethical or moral considerations, which are increasingly the subject of corporate policies, it is important for companies to address biodiversity for a variety of sound business reasons. Many mining companies have adopted an increasingly sophisticated approach to managing biodiversity as part of their commitments to establishing and maintaining a social or functional ‘licence to operate’ (see Box 1.1 on Rio Tinto). For example, adopting responsible practices with respect to biodiversity management is increasingly viewed as important with respect to: • access to land, both at the initial stages of project development and for ongoing exploration to extend the lifetime of existing projects; • reputation, which links to ‘licence to operate’, an intangible but significant benefit to business, and which can profoundly influence the perceptions of communities, NGOs and other stakeholders of existing or proposed mining operations; and • access to capital, particularly where project finance is to be obtained from one of the investment banks that are signatories to the Equator Principles2, which apply the Biodiversity Performance Standard3 of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to all investments in excess of $10 million (recognizing that strengthened commitments to biodiversity assessment and management are likely to be adopted). Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 13 2 See www.equator-principles.com. 3 In April 2006, IFC adopted Performance Standard 6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resources Management, which replaced IFC’s Operational Policy 4.04: Natural Habitats of 1998. In addition, good biodiversity management can bring benefits to mining companies, including: • increased investor confidence and loyalty; • shorter and less contentious permitting cycles, as a result of better relationships with regulatory agencies; • improved community relations; • strong supportive partnerships with NGOs; • improved employee motivation; and • reduced risks and liabilities. This Good Practice Guidance provides the mining industry with an outline of the steps required to improve biodiversity management throughout the mine cycle. Ultimately, through implementation of this GPG, mining companies should minimize the likelihood of negative impacts on biodiversity, project delays and damage to their reputations. Box 1.1. A strategic response to biodiversity conservation – Rio Tinto Rio Tinto has developed a strategic response to biodiversity conservation and management, designed to enable the company to meet the wide range of expectations of many different constituencies with interests in the company and its activities. As a first step in developing a biodiversity strategy, partnerships were formed with leading conservation organisations such as Earthwatch Institute, BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. These relationships provided a conservation perspective on the opportunities and challenges raised by the mining process and were an essential part of designing how to proceed. A detailed survey of the level of awareness and management of biodiversity issues at all operations was carried out. A paper setting out a strong business case for developing a biodiversity strategy was put to senior management. The development of the strategy was managed by a Rio Tinto steering group formed in 2002 and supported by an external advisory panel. The internal steering group included senior representatives from Rio Tinto operations as well as Exploration, corporate Health, Safety and Environment, and corporate Community Relations departments. The external advisory panel consisted of six invited international experts from conservation and community development organisations, including some of Rio Tinto’s biodiversity partners. The elements of the Rio Tinto biodiversity strategy have been developed to help corporate and operational staff improve biodiversity performance through: • Identification of biodiversity risks and opportunity • Development and implementation of biodiversity programmes • Recognition of synergies and challenges with sustainable communities programmes • Identification and development of strategic and operational partnerships, and, • Effective corporate assurance Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 14 1.4 The importance of stakeholder engagement Stakeholders are groups and individuals who affect or are affected by the activities of mining companies. Depending on the scale and significance of a mining project, the stakeholders with an interest in biodiversity may include the following: • local communities; • a range of government and multilateral institutions with an interest in or responsibility for the management or protection of natural resources; • investors or providers of insurance, who may impose environmental requirements or standards; • conservation interests, including international, national or local NGOs as well as academic or research institutions; and • employees. Engagement of potentially affected communities and other stakeholders in biodiversity conservation is fundamental to the success of biodiversity initiatives. Engaging the community and other stakeholders with an objective of developing trust, respect and partnership, aimed at keeping the community informed of a mining company’s operations, is essential to the success of a sustainable project. It should be recognized that stakeholders may have different and possibly conflicting interests in, perspectives on and priorities for biodiversity and its management. Reconciling these differences in a fair and balanced way is central to the aims of the GPG. Stakeholder engagement has an important role to play in developing an understanding of the interfaces between mining and biodiversity and in assessing potential negative impacts. When developing mitigation measures or biodiversity conservation initiatives, attention must given to respecting cultures, customs and values; to recognizing and engaging local communities as stakeholders; to participating in the social, economic and institutional development of communities; The strategy provides a framework to bring together the interests and concerns of several groups, including indigenous landowners, affected communities, investors, employees, NGOs, regulators, scientific and finance communities. Outputs from the strategy include a Position Statement, guiding principles, a detailed guidance document and case studies. The Strategy was launched at the World Conservation Forum in Bangkok in November 2004. It is being implemented across the Rio Tinto Group, with particular emphasis on new projects. As with the development of the strategy, the company’s biodiversity partner organisations are actively involved in implementation. They are supporting Group businesses in the design and development of biodiversity programmes appropriate to local biodiversity risks and opportunities. Working groups have been formed to continue the development of additional guidance on biodiversity indicators, metrics and targets, and on the issues surrounding the use of biodiversity offsets. Both groups have membership drawn from conservation and development organisations as well as corporate and operational staff from Rio Tinto. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 15 and to mitigating negative impacts. The importance of stakeholder engagement is a recurring theme throughout the GPG. In particular, Chapter 6 presents a discussion of stakeholder engagement tools and processes. Indeed, the GPG has its origins in the IUCN-ICMM stakeholder dialogue – a July 2003 workshop reaffirmed the commitment to producing guidance on good practice following the World Parks Congress in Durban in September 2003. 1.5 Scope and structure of the Good Practice Guidance 1.5.1 Scope This GPG encompasses the steps required to improve biodiversity management throughout the mining cycle. It assumes the existence of a corporate commitment to the ICMM sustainable development principles and sub-elements, which may be reflected in individual members’ biodiversity strategies, policies or standards. It does not address the development of policies with respect to biodiversity in any detail other than in the context of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in Chapter 5 (see section 5.3.1 on securing a corporate commitment). Instead, it offers a series of practical modules that should enable companies to: • Understand the interfaces between their activities and biodiversity: Help companies recognize the interfaces between their various operational activities and biodiversity, and to engage effectively with stakeholders. • Assess the likelihood of their activities having negative impacts on biodiversity: Undertake practical steps to assess the potential for operational activities to negatively affect biodiversity and related stakeholders. • Mitigate potential impacts on biodiversity: Identify and implement a hierarchy of measures to protect biodiversity and affected stakeholders. • Explore the potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation: Beyond the mitigation of impacts, explore the potential to contribute to biodiversity conservation or protection. The GPG has been developed to be applicable to a variety of operational contexts, encompassing a range of ecosystem types (from deserts to lowland tropical environments, for instance) and importance (such as where biodiversity may be of international importance or of very limited importance). As a consequence, the application and interpretation of the guidance will sometimes depend on specialized local knowledge or biodiversity expertise – this is flagged at various points within the GPG. 1.5.2 Structure The GPG is divided into three parts. Section A outlines the background for ICMM developing the GPG for mining and biodiversity, highlights the importance of biodiversity and relevance to the mining sector, and emphasizes the need for stakeholder engagement in the identification, assessment, mitigation and management of biodiversity. Section B provides guidance on managing biodiversity at various operational stages. It includes three chapters, corresponding to the three broad phases of mining projects: • project development, which here includes exploration, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies and construction (Chapter 2); • operations, which here includes core mining facilities and activities and ancillary infrastructure (Chapter 3); and • closure planning and implementation (Chapter 4). Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 16 This section focuses on identifying the intersection between mining activities and biodiversity and on highlighting the systems, tools and processes that can be applied to help companies manage potential impacts on biodiversity and enhance biodiversity protection and conservation. Figure 1.2: Integrating biodiversity into the mining project cycle Section C describes the systems, tools and processes in greater detail and provides guidance on their practical application in the context of mining operations. It includes three clusters: • management system and assessment tools, including Environmental Management Systems and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) (Chapter 5); • stakeholder engagement tools and processes (Chapter 6); and • mitigation, rehabilitation and enhancement tools (Chapter 7). This structure has been designed to explicitly recognize that different operations will be at different stages of development and that many of the systems, tools and processes for biodiversity management may be applicable to all three of the operational phases outlined in section B, albeit at varying degrees of detail. Sections B and C have been designed to help users of the GPG determine the level of detail Exp lora tion Pre/feasibility Construction Ancillary Infrastructure Implementation Plannin g Ex trac tion /pr oc es sin g Env iron menta l Management Systems Stak eholder Engagement Environmental and Social Asse ssm ent Mitigation and rehabilitio n to ols New Project Development Closure Op era tio nsSystems, tools & processes can applyat any stage of the project style Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 17 (for example, of assessment) that is appropriate, depending on the operational context. The conceptual approach adopted for the GPG is illustrated in Figure 1.2. Section D provides support materials for the rest of the document: there is a list of acronyms used, a list of key references and a set of checklists. The latter are provided as a means of ensuring adoption and implementation of the GPG by acting as an aide memoire and a way of quickly ascertaining whether one has addressed the chief requirements of a particular chapter. However the reader should beware that one size does not fit all and hence careful thought needs to go into selecting the appropriate elements that apply to a specific project. The main document should be referred to as the primary source of ideas and examples. Throughout, the guidance includes illustrative case studies that demonstrate practical efforts by mining companies to address biodiversity challenges. In addition, the case studies provide examples of the mutual benefits that can arise for mining companies and their stakeholders through constructive engagement. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 18 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 19 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 20 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 21 SECTION B: Managing Biodiversity at Different Operational Stages 2.1 Introduction 23 Delineates new project development and the stages it encompasses and provides an overview of the content of the chapter. 2.2 Exploration 24 Describes exploration techniques and stages, looks at the anticipated level of effort to address biodiversity at each stage, and outlines practices to limit impacts on biodiversity. See checklist 2.1 on page 118 2.3 Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies 28 Outlines the importance of developing a progressively more detailed understanding of biodiversity in the vicinity of a proposed mining project, to support decision-making. See checklist 2.2 on page 119 and checklist 2.3 on page 120 2.4 Construction 32 Provides an overview of how the construction of mining projects can have adverse impacts on biodiversity and highlights some key areas of concern. See checklist 2.4 on page 122 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 22 Chapter 2. Integrating Biodiversity into Project Development 2.1 Introduction For the purposes of this GPG, project development encompasses all the stages from initial exploration through to completion of construction. Individual mining companies identify somewhat different stages within project development, but here just three broad stages are included: exploration; pre-feasibility and feasibility studies; and project construction. Incremental levels of investment of time and resources, not to mention increasing confidence in the potential to recover economically viable minerals, are required to progress between each of these stages from a technical perspective. Figure 2.1: Integrating biodiversity into project development Similarly, incremental levels of effort are required to address environmental and social aspects in general and biodiversity in particular. This chapter reviews the three stages of mine project development and discusses the intersection between the activities undertaken by mining companies and biodiversity. It also refers to the types of systems, tools or processes that may be applied to better understand the intersections between mining and biodiversity, as well as how best to manage them. (see Figure 2.1.) An illustrative example of the relationships between mining activities and potential impacts on biodiversity is given in Figure 2.2. Exp lora tion Pre/feasibility Construction Ancillary Infrastructure Implementation Plannin g Ex trac tion /pr oc es sin g Env iron menta l Management Systems Stak eholder Engagement Environmental and Social Asse ssm ent Mitigation and rehabilitio n to ols New Project Development Clolol surerer Op erarar tata i on sSystems, tools & processes can apply at any stage of the project style Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 23 2.2 Exploration The goal of exploration is to discover economically viable mineral deposits. The search for mineral deposits is undertaken primarily by junior mining companies, sometimes with the financial support of a major mining company, but often speculatively. Exploration is a high-risk, high-reward activity, where the probability of success is often low but the potential rewards of finding an economically viable deposit are considerable. The predominance of junior mining companies in exploration is relevant because they are less likely to have in-house capacity on environmental or social issues in general or on biodiversity issues in particular, and this GPG explicitly recognizes that lack of an in-house capacity on biodiversity issues may often be a constraint. The E3 Programme of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada is an excellent tool designed to support junior mining companies in addressing all environmental issues in exploration, including biodiversity. Figure 2.2: Examples of the intersection of project development and biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 24 M IN IN G AC TI VI TI ES Ex pl or at io n an d co ns tr uc tio n Ea rly s ta ge s of e xp lo ra tio n Ex pl or at io n dr ill in g Ac ce ss ro ad c on st ru ct io n La nd c le ar an ce (f or c on st ru ct io n, e tc .) Ob ta in in g co ns tr uc tio n m at er ia ls Co ns tr uc tio n re la te d in fra st ru ct ur e Co ns tr uc tio n of a nc ill ar y in fr as tr uc tu re Ro ad s, ra il & e xp or t i nf ra st ru ct ur e Pi pe lin es fo r s lu rr ie s or c on ce nt ra te s En er gy /p ow er & tr an sm is si on li ne s W at er s ou rc es , w as te w at er tr ea tm en t Tr an sp or t o f h az ar do us m at er ia ls POTENTIAL IMPACTS Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity Loss of ecosystems and habitats Loss of rare and endangered species Effects on sensitive or migratory species Effects of induced development on biodiversity Aquatic biodiversity & impacts of discharges Altered hydrologic regimes Altered hydrogeological regimes Increased heavy metals, acidity or pollution Increased turbidity (suspended solids) Risk of groundwater contamination Air quality related impacts on biodiversity Increased ambient particulates (TSP) Increased ambient sulfur dioxide (SO2) Increased ambient oxides of nitrogen (NOx) Increased ambient heavy metals Social interfaces with biodiversity Loss of access to fisheries Loss of access to fruit trees, medicinal plants Loss of access to forage crops or grazing Restricted access to biodiversity resources Increased hunting pressures Induced development impacts on biodiversity ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● In the early stages of exploration, impacts on biodiversity are limited, although they can become more significant as exploration progresses. At a macro-level, however, assuming exploration efforts identify economically viable mineral deposits, the initial choice of exploration area can have a profound long-term influence on the impacts on biodiversity. Therefore even at this very early stage it is critically important to have some appreciation of likely long-term interfaces with biodiversity. At this stage, companies should begin to develop an appreciation of the overall biodiversity importance of the area within which exploration is being undertaken by reviewing legal provisions relating to biodiversity and mapping the occurrence of protected areas. ICMM members have committed not to explore or mine in World Heritage Sites4, which are considered to be of outstanding global value. This particular category of protected area is thus effectively ‘off-limits’ for exploration by ICMM members. At one extreme, exploration might be undertaken within a protected area. At the other extreme, exploration might be undertaken in a highly regulated environment, where sophisticated land use planning has identified areas suitable for minerals exploration or exploitation based on a variety of constraints, including biodiversity, and where biodiversity may already be significantly degraded. The majority of exploration areas will fall somewhere between these two extremes. The assessment tools (see especially section 5.2.2 on screening and scoping of biodiversity issues) will help to establish the biodiversity context of exploration areas – and may also help to divert exploration efforts away from areas of greatest importance for biodiversity. It is important, therefore, that a limited early screening effort be undertaken (to determine regulatory restrictions such as protected areas, for instance, or regulatory requirements in terms of permitting). The emphasis on limited early screening is responsive to the probability of exploration success – whereby perhaps only 1 in 100 regional exploration targets may proceed to the pre-feasibility stage. Consequently, it is better to flag significant biodiversity (and other environmental or social) risks at an early stage, which may have a bearing on whether a project could realistically be developed. The assessment of biodiversity and other risks should be revisited as potential projects proceed through the various stages of new project development. 2.2.1 Early stages of exploration Exploration involves a variety of stages and techniques that require progressively greater degrees of effort and physical disturbance of land. The early stages of exploration are described below. Geological field surveys: Collecting basic data and mapping of rock types, minerals and structures. Surface data are used to interpret the subsurface geology. The accuracy and detail of preliminary mapping can be enhanced by using aerial photography, for example to help locate outcrops and to control traverses. Field surveys generally have limited impacts on biodiversity unless sub-surface sampling is done (see below), as they involve limited disturbance of land and as access is typically obtained using existing roads and tracks or by air. Geochemical techniques: Sampling of geological materials and testing for abnormally high or low values of elements in order to trace a path to a source of economic significance. Geochemical techniques involve collecting and analyzing Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 25 4 World Heritage Sites are established under the World Heritage Convention of 1972 and administered by UNESCO. various types of geological materials (such as soils, stream sediments or silt, and rocks) or certain biological materials (such as plants). As mineralization can be extremely difficult to recognize from field surveys alone, geochemical techniques assist in the discovery of ore deposits. In common with field surveys, these techniques normally have minimal impacts on biodiversity. Geophysical survey techniques: Measuring the physical properties of minerals and rocks – in particular magnetism, electrical conductivity and density – to indicate the presence or absence of economic mineralization. For example, the magnetic properties of minerals and rocks can be used for identification, and discrepancies in Earth’s magnetic field may indicate a concentration of valuable minerals. Since the properties of several minerals, rocks and rock structures overlap, the results of geophysical surveys (identified anomalies) are generally only indicative of favourable zones or targets for further physical investigation. Geophysical techniques are often undertaken from aircraft (or may be done with equipment mounted on vehicles). With air surveying, the impacts on biodiversity are very limited (as the techniques are nondestructive), with the possible exception of temporary disturbance of migratory land animals or sensitive fauna. Ground surveying that involves no new road construction or is on lightly vegetated areas (such as grassland) also has limited impacts. Seismic lines cleared for geophone surveying can create straight lines of cleared vegetation – providing access to predators, potential weed invasion and isolation of previously intact vegetation. With modern methods of positioning and surveying, it should be possible to avoid ‘line of sight’ cuttings in the vast majority of cases, and low-impact methods should be possible in all other cases. The available mitigation techniques include low-pressure terrain vehicles, rubber-tyred bulldozers in a ‘blade-up’ condition, and helicopter access rather than cutting any lines. Sub-surface sampling: Techniques such as pitting and trenching may be carried out to further explore anomalies identified through geophysical surveys or may sometimes be used during geological surveying. The surface of mineralization is often obscured by overburden or is weathered and leached to some depth. If the rock surface is too weathered or oxidized to allow accurate sampling, rock drills may be used to drill a pattern of shallow holes for blasting, or hand, tractor or excavator trenching may be used. The broken rock is removed and the fresh, somewhat fractured walls or trench bottom may be sampled. Trenching and pitting involve some level of land clearance and may affect biodiversity to a greater extent than the exploration techniques described above (particularly where it requires construction of new access roads). Trenching can create large linear pits that can create ‘traps’ for fauna, and the removal of vegetation may be extensive. The effectiveness of trenching should be evaluated with due consideration for the potential impact on biodiversity and required rehabilitation effort. Where trenches are used, specific measures should be taken to provide barriers to access (such as fencing or other guides to divert animals), easy egress for animals that do fall in and, most important, backfilling and rehabilitation as soon as possible. 2.2.2 Exploration drilling Exploration drilling requires the use of drill rigs to penetrate sub-surface rock layers and obtain representative materials consisting of chips or core. Drilling is the culmination of the exploration process and represents the last stage of development Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 26 planning. Drill data are used to create a model of the underground geometry of mineralization. Available techniques include percussion, vacuum, reverse circulation and diamond drilling. Drilling is invasive and often requires the use of heavy equipment. The direct impacts on biodiversity are more extensive than for other exploration techniques, as drill sites must be cleared, and new access roads are often required for equipment. Drill pads sometimes need to be established within relatively undisturbed ecosystems, and it requires intensive management to limit the associated disturbance and subsequent rehabilitation of that disturbance. Simple management measures can include minimizing the number of access roads, keeping tracks as small as possible and rehabilitating tracks as soon as practicable. In addition, biodiversity may be affected by water abstraction for drilling fluids or by spillage or leakage of fuels, oils and drilling fluids during exploration drilling. Where exploration camps are established, surface water pollution may result from wastewater discharges, sewage disposal, and small-scale waste rock dumps (and related heavy metal and sediment drainages), which may affect aquatic biodiversity or contaminate drinking water sources for wildlife. The latter stages of exploration can have fairly significant impacts on biodiversity, especially if exploration in remote areas facilitates access and enables other forms of natural resources extraction (removal of fuelwood or timber, hunting and so on). In some legal jurisdictions, the permitting process can require some level of environmental analyses to be undertaken at this stage (see section 5.2.2 on screening and scoping biodiversity issues). If not, it may still be prudent to invest earlier in a more rigorous screening to better understand the biodiversity context5. This could include obtaining readily available information on biodiversity within the area of exploration, reviewing legal provisions relating to biodiversity and undertaking basic surveys of biodiversity, and it normally requires the input of a trained ecologist. In addition, at this stage biodiversity stakeholders should be identified and some initial engagement undertaken (see sections 6.2 on identification and 6.3 on engagement). It may also be prudent to have specialist environmental personnel on site in the latter stages of exploration, to ensure that field studies (to include biodiversity as appropriate) are initiated in support of the ESIA. Some recommended practices for limiting impacts on biodiversity during exploration include: • limiting land clearing by using technologies and mining practices that minimize habitat disturbance; • avoiding road building wherever possible by using helicopters or existing tracks – if roads are to be constructed, use existing corridors and build away from steep slopes or waterways; • using lighter and more efficient equipment to reduce impacts on biodiversity; • positioning drill holes and trenches away from sensitive areas; • capping or plugging of drill holes to prevent small mammals from becoming trapped; • removing and reclaiming roads and tracks that are no longer needed; and • using native vegetation to revegetate land cleared during exploration. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 27 5 As acknowledged in a number of areas within the GPG, the distinctions between the stages of new project development are often fluid, so greater effort may be required depending on the project or company context. Irrespective of the provisions of the GPG, regulatory requirements with respect to biodiversity must always be adhered to. Some of these practices were incorporated into the exploration Environmental Management Plan (EMP) developed in conjunction with stakeholders at the Skorpion Zinc Mine in Namibia (see Box 2.1) and for exploration within the buffer zone of the Fitzgerald River Biosphere in Western Australia (see Box 2.2). An innovative approach to monitoring the effectiveness of such measures to control exploration impacts was developed by Placer Exploration Limited (see Box 2.3). 2.3 Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies Different companies have different terminology for the various stages of project development, but these stages typically follow promising initial results from exploration. Pre-feasibility often overlaps with the later stages of exploration work, and the boundaries between pre-feasibility and feasibility work may be blurred. Box 2.1. Environmental Management Plan to minimize exploration impacts and guide rehabilitation – Skorpion Zinc Mine, Namibia In 2000, Anglo America plc commenced construction of the Skorpian zinc mine and refinery near Rosh Pinah in southern Namibia, and production began in April 2003. Ongoing exploration for zinc is being conducted in the surrounding area mainly by means of drilling on a broad grid basis and by sampling rock chips and cores. Southern Namibia is classified by Conservation International as one of the world’s top 25 biodiversity ‘hotspots’. It is the only arid ‘hotspot’ environment, and over 10 per cent of the plant species there are found only in the Sperrgebiet area. The main concerns of the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) were that the Sperrgebiet habitat was extremely sensitive and could not recover after disturbance and that the exploration might cause irreparable damage. An EMP, including a specific Exploration EMP, was developed by company personnel in conjunction with stakeholder representatives. In addition, and in conjunction with other stakeholders, a Rosh Pinah Environmental Forum was formed in late 2000 to develop site-specific plans for exploration areas. Stakeholder involvement led to an agreement, among other actions, to restrict drill site access to single tracks on grid lines, to use wide low-pressure tyres and lightweight drill rigs, to ban camping within the Sperrgebiet, to rehabilitate all drill sites and access tracks and to monitor the drillers’ environmental conduct daily. As part of follow-up, site visits were conducted with all stakeholders, ‘before and after’ photographs were taken and biannual audits were conducted with full reporting. Spot checks were conducted, and all stakeholders signed off on the rehabilitation of previously affected areas. As a consequence of the environmental management implemented, large tracts of ground have been returned to their original state at minimal cost after exploration activities. The level of environmental awareness and regard for the importance of biodiversity by all exploration staff increased considerably, and an excellent relationship of trust developed between Anglo American and MET staff. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 28 Irrespective of where the line is drawn, the results of exploration will have justified additional expenditure to determine whether a mineral deposit is economically viable and if the potential for a mining project to be developed is greater. One distinction that is sometimes made between pre-feasibility and feasibility studies is that the former determines whether a probable mineral reserve is economically viable (and looks at a number of options), whereas the latter determines whether the proven mineral reserve can indeed be economically mined (and goes into detail on a preferred option). At this stage, the ‘footprint’ of mining activities often becomes more established, in terms of the exploration camp and related infrastructure, as additional drilling and other investigative work is undertaken to establish the extent and grades of the ore deposit. Box 2.2. Specialized low-impact exploration practices – Ravensthorpe Nickel Project The Ravensthorpe Nickel Project in Western Australia lies within an agricultural region with an established network of small towns. It is located within the Bandalup Corridor, a band of remnant vegetation adjacent to the Fitzgerald River National Park, and falls within the buffer zone of the Fitzgerald River Biosphere, a world-renowned biodiversity area. The Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) manages both the national park and the biosphere. One of the allowable activities within the buffer zone of a biosphere is mining, subject to responsible environmental management. The project’s ore deposits are located in areas covered by remnant vegetation. The clearing of this vegetation associated with project development has two main impacts on biodiversity, including loss of habitat for fauna and, to a lesser extent, direct fauna impact from road traffic. The loss of fauna habitat has been compensated through the purchase of an adjacent 650-hectare ‘bush block’ as a conservation offset, together with the revegetation of approximately 600 hectares of existing cleared farmland to allow its incorporation back into the Bandalup Corridor. At the completion of these revegetation activities and subsequent mine rehabilitation, the width of the Bandalup Corridor will actually be increased. During the feasibility study, detailed ecological survey work has identified over 700 individual flora species within the project leases, a number of which are endemic to the project leases and in some cases have been identified for the first time. The project team has focused on reducing clearing of remnant vegetation by locating as much infrastructure as practicable on adjacent historically cleared land. Where clearing is unavoidable, progressive rehabilitation including backfilling of mined areas has been included in the mine development schedule. Additionally, four mining exclusion zones have been established to preserve restricted species. Results from large-scale rehabilitation trials, translocation trials for priority species, genetic studies and seed propagation studies led to the development of rehabilitation and priority species management plans. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 29 Box 2.3. Development of an Environmental Protocol in support of responsible exploration practices – Placer Exploration Limited In June 1994, Placer Exploration Limited implemented an Environmental Protocol to ensure its field teams followed their EMP and Environmental Checklist. The Protocol is an assessment tool that includes educational material, suggested delegations of responsibilities and two environmental performance indicators (EPIs). The protocol gives responsibility and ownership of environmental outcomes to each member of the field team. It was introduced at a seminar for field teams in January 1995 to emphasize their responsibility for minimizing environmental impacts and rehabilitation of disturbed land. To ensure field teams meet their goals, areas affected by their exploration are assessed by the Environmental Technical Officer (ETO), who then reports back to the team on their environmental performance. For successful environmental performance, all phases of the operation must be managed properly. For exploration this involves: • forethought and planning before the exploration activity, • minimizing impacts during exploration, • environmental cleanup immediately following the programmed exploration and • rehabilitation within six months of programmed exploration. To assist field teams, the ETO developed the Environmental Hit list. It is a robust, laminated, A5-sized, dot-point summary sheet that fits in a vehicle glove box. Two environmental performance indicators were developed that assign a numerical value to each project, thus allowing comparison between projects. Data collected from each project are reported in a table, showing each variable in the formula and the calculated EPIs. The Environmental Performance Indicator Formulas are as follows: • For Drilling program that has undergone an environmental cleanup immediately after drilling completed: EPI = no. of open holes + no. of areas with excessive tracks + no. of hydrocarbon spills + no. of areas with significant litter / Total no. of holes drilled • For drilling program that has undergone rehabilitation no later than six months after drilling completed: EPI = no. of drill sumps left open + no. of drill holes not buried + no. of areas left unscarified or unripped + no. of sample bags left / Total no. of holes drilled The results of the assessments are circulated so that everyone in the company knows which project teams are the best performers. This has led to healthy competition among field teams. The assessment outlines clearly the areas needing improvement. The performance indicators also allow comparison of the field teams and indicate the company's performance over time. While visual assessment is somewhat subjective, this is minimized by using simple variables in the EPI and by using one officer to assess the projects. As with most management tools, this approach is being modified and improved over time to enable greater feedback and to increase commitment to good environmental performance. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 30 2.3.1 Pre-feasibility stage From a biodiversity perspective, at the pre-feasibility stage it is important to develop a fuller understanding of the biodiversity context of the project area (see section 5.3 on EMS). Initially, this may not require specialist inputs, provided there is sufficient in-house capacity to apply the systems, tools and processes outlined in Section C of the GPG. However, where initial screening indicates that biodiversity is important within the project area and that more effort will be required if a project proceeds to the feasibility stage, it is advisable to contract specialist expertise on biodiversity to begin to establish a biodiversity baseline, if this has not already been done (see section 5.2.3 on baseline studies). This may be either a stand-alone exercise or part of an initial Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (see section 5.2 on ESIA). At this stage, it will be important to undertake the following: • identification of important areas for biodiversity, whether protected or not, and the status of protected areas and species; • an initial review of possible mining options (underground versus open-pit, for example), processing options and likely waste products, water demands, options for waste rock or tailings storage and so on and consideration of the merits of each from a technical, economic, environmental (including biodiversity) and social perspective; and • a preliminary assessment of potential impacts, taking into consideration possible timeframes for development. It is critically important that the initial analysis of alternative mining options involves substantive, informed and documented environmental and social input (with specific attention to biodiversity in sensitive environments), as options become more fixed with the transition to the feasibility stage. Depending on the source of financing or regulatory requirements, if the project proceeds to the feasibility stage there may be a requirement to demonstrate a credible analysis of alternatives from an environmental and social perspective. It is important that this be based on a credible up-front analysis as opposed to a retrospective attempt to justify the preferred option. 2.3.2 Feasibility stage During the feasibility stage, the confidence level for proceeding with mining is further increased. At this stage, detailed information will be collected on proven and probable reserves, and mine development and design options will be specified in detail. Detailed production plans will be developed, outlining the quantity of ore to be processed and waste rock to be disposed of. Layout plans showing preferred options for infrastructure, processing facilities, waste treatment and disposal sites and ancillary facilities will be developed. By the end of the feasibility studies, closure plans will also have been established and integrated into project design (see Chapter 4). At this stage, design parameters begin to be locked in, and subsequent changes become more difficult. The steps just described for the pre-feasibility stage should be reviewed and updated in light of the more detailed design information, and a more in-depth assessment of biodiversity and other environmental and social issues undertaken. This is the stage at which a significant investment is made in developing a full understanding of the interfaces between the proposed project and biodiversity and of possible options to avoid adverse impacts and enhance biodiversity protection or conservation. By the end of the feasibility stage, the ESIA work should be in an advanced stage. This should include the following aspects in relation to biodiversity (elaborated on in Chapters 5, 6 and 7): Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 31 • confirmation of the implications of legal provisions, protected areas and species and any interfaces with the mining project; • results of baseline studies (see also section 5.2.3 on baseline studies), an evaluation of the importance of biodiversity (from a technical perspective and based on in-depth consultations with a range of stakeholders) and a discussion of current threats to biodiversity; • an assessment of the proposed mining projects’ impacts on biodiversity (direct, indirect and induced) and on the users of biodiversity; • a discussion of mitigation measures (from construction through to closure), the prospects for successful implementation and residual impacts on biodiversity and related stakeholders; and • a discussion of options for biodiversity conservation or enhancement. The mitigation measures to address potential impacts on biodiversity would typically be included in an EMP. These ought to specify the measures to be adopted during construction in considerable detail, with decreasing specificity for the operational and closure planning stages. However, while an EMP may often be specified as a regulatory requirement, it is essential that it be integrated into the overall EMS for the mining company and be subject to regular review and updating (see section 5.3 on EMS). This is particularly important as the ESIA is often completed in parallel with the feasibility studies, whereas during the detailed design, changes to the plant layout (either an increase in footprint or changes to the location of equipment) may affect biodiversity through increasing disturbance or encroaching on sensitive areas. 2.4 Construction Construction often represents the period of greatest environmental and social disruption during the mining project cycle. Substantial areas of land may be cleared of vegetation to accommodate project facilities and related infrastructure. In other situations, indirect clearance may occur, particularly in parts of the world where in- migration is common and often unchecked. While construction planning occurs during the feasibility stage and the related impacts are predicted and addressed during the ESIA process, many stakeholders are often unprepared for the realities of construction. This section includes a brief discussion of the intersection between a number of construction elements and biodiversity. These aspects need to be addressed as part of the ESIA process (see section 5.2 on ESIA). 2.4.1 Access for construction and ancillary infrastructure The construction of access roads and other linear project infrastructure (such as dedicated rail lines, pipelines for transport of slurries or concentrates or power transmission lines) can have a significant impact on biodiversity. It may result in the isolation or fragmentation of habitats, which can have a significant impact on biodiversity. Interruption to the natural linkages between populations of plants and animals can create significant, sometimes irreversible, changes. It also results in habitat fragmentation, whereby separated smaller areas are less resilient to change. Edges provide greater potential for pest plants and animals to invade, and isolated areas of land frequently become degraded (see section 5.2.5 on impact identification and assessment). Linear infrastructure can disrupt surface water regimes and significantly affect wetland and groundwater systems. Changes to stream and river flows may affect adjacent habitats or riverine ecology, including fisheries on which downstream communities may be dependent. In more remote situations, where biodiversity is largely undisturbed as a result of limited access, the construction of access roads Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 32 may induce significant adverse changes through the introduction of alien or invasive species and the provision of access to settlers or other ‘users’ of biodiversity (such as loggers or hunters). 2.4.2 Land clearance and resettlement Land clearance has an obvious and direct impact through habitat destruction. The conduct of land clearance, however, can influence the survival of rarer plant and animal species. For example, where rare plant species have been identified during baseline or follow-up surveys (see section 5.2.3), these can sometimes be successfully transplanted prior to vegetation removal. Similarly, measures can be taken to improve the prospects for survival of fauna (such as by ensuring that the nesting season is avoided for important bird species (see also Chapter 7). Land clearance may also significantly affect the users of biodiversity, most notably through diminishing the resource base of dependent communities. Where communities may also be subject to resettlement as a result of land clearance, their displacement to alternative locations may result in additional pressures on biodiversity in the vicinity of the relocation site. The sourcing of construction materials may also have a significant impact on biodiversity, and potential impacts and mitigation measures should be considered as part of the ESIA and detailed design. In particular, the opening up of borrow-pits or dredging of sands and gravels may have an impact on terrestrial or aquatic biodiversity. 2.4.3 Construction-related infrastructure The large numbers of workers associated with the construction of mining projects (sometimes thousands of temporary workers or contractors’ staff), along with related infrastructure, can have significant impacts on biodiversity. Of particular concern in ecologically sensitive areas is the likelihood of more permanent in- migration following the construction period. This can result in significantly increased pressures on the natural resource base in general and on biodiversity in particular. One solution is to accommodate temporary workers in construction work camps, but these present their own problems for biodiversity (along with a range of associated social impacts). For example, workers may engage in hunting or make other demands on natural resources (for temporary gardens, for example, or fuelwood). The water demands of the construction workers and related sanitation requirements may also pose a threat to aquatic biodiversity. To control the impacts on biodiversity during construction, some companies have adopted policies of no firearms or no hunting or fishing. During the intense construction period, many contractors and subcontractors could be on-site at any given time, and the contractual pressures on contractors to deliver are often intense. In these situations, the responsibilities for mitigation measures committed to in an EMP can become diffused or forgotten. In areas of high importance for biodiversity, it is essential the these practical realities are factored into the design of mitigation measures, into the allocation of responsibilities for implementing these measures and into construction supervision to ensure that adequate protection is afforded to biodiversity and affected stakeholders. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 33 3.1 Introduction 35 Describes the activities encompassed by mining operations, outlines their relevance to biodiversity and provides an overview of the content of the chapter. 3.2 Ancillary infrastructure: operational considerations 36 Highlights some of the potential impacts of ancillary infrastructure on biodiversity, which are often overlooked in the environmental assessment or management of mines. 3.3 Operations: ore extraction, processing and waste disposal 36 Discusses the potential interfaces between mining operations and biodiversity, and how these may directly or indirectly affect biodiversity. 3.4 Opportunities for biodiversity protection or enhancement 40 Introduces the potential for mining companies to play a positive role in the protection or enhancement of biodiversity within the vicinity of their operations. See checklist 3.1 on page 123 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 34 Chapter 3. Integrating Biodiversity into Operations 3.1 Introduction For the purposes of this GPG, operations refers to all activities related to the extraction and processing of ore, the disposal of waste materials and the transport of products (where this is undertaken by the mining company) (see Figure 3.1). This is the core business of mining companies and the point at which production commences to offset the costs of construction and related expenditures. It also includes the operational issues relating to the use of ancillary infrastructure, as opposed to the construction aspects (dealt with in Chapter 2). Figure 3.1: Integrating biodiversity into operations While construction typically takes one to three years, operations may occur over a period of decades. Whereas the focus of efforts during new project development is almost exclusively on impact prediction and mitigation, the operational phase often provides opportunities for biodiversity protection and enhancement. For newer mining projects, the operational impacts will have been assessed and considered in detail during the ESIA process. For existing mining operations that may have been in production for some time, and where biodiversity may have received limited consideration prior to production commencing, section 5.2.2 provides guidance on how to identify the interfaces between mining operations and biodiversity and to determine whether biodiversity impacts represent “significant environmental aspects” (in EMS parlance). Exp lora tion Pre/feasibility Construction Ancillary Infrastructure Implementation Plannin g Ex trac tion /pr oc es sin g Env iron menta l Management Systems Stak eholder Engagement Environmental and Social Asse ssm ent Mitigation and rehabilitio n to ols New Projo ectc Development Clolol surerer Op era tio nsSystems, tools & processes can applyat any stage of the project style Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 35 A key focus of this chapter is the potential impacts on biodiversity (see Figure 3.2 for illustrative examples) from operational activities, but it also highlights the potential for biodiversity enhancements. It is important to recognize that many existing mining operations have active exploration programs aimed at extending probable and proven reserves. Where exploration is likely to result in significant expansion beyond that envisaged as part of the original permitting process, the provisions of Chapter 2 will also apply. 3.2 Ancillary infrastructure: operational considerations The major potential impacts of ancillary infrastructure occur during design and construction, although a number of operational considerations are also relevant to biodiversity. The potential impacts associated with water and sanitation infrastructure are also present during operations and were dealt with earlier. While the major impacts of linear infrastructure occur during construction, the continuing presence of physical barriers can present a threat to migratory animal species. The principal risk to biodiversity from ancillary infrastructure that has not been previously discussed relates to the transport of hazardous process chemicals, hazardous waste materials (such as sulphuric acid produced from smelter flue gas desulphurization) or hazardous metals (such as mercury) that may occur in association with other metals. In light of some high-profile hazardous materials spills in recent years (including mercury in the streets of Choropampa, Peru, and sodium cyanide in the Barskaun River, Kyrgyzstan), mining companies are increasingly conducting hazard and risk assessments that explicitly consider transportation issues. However, these are often concerned primarily with human populations as receptors, and they need to be adapted to address the risks to biodiversity. The tools outlined in Chapter 5 can be readily adapted to this purpose (see section 5.3.2 on determining significant biodiversity aspects). Biodiversity may also be affected by maintenance activities on linear infrastructure, particularly weed and pest control. This can be minimized by implementing an integrated pest management or integrated vector management approach for all pest management activities. This advocates the use of alternative approaches to chemical controls in the first instance. Where the use of pesticides is essential, the selected pesticides should be low in human toxicity, effective against the target species, and have minimal effects on non-target species and the environment. Additional guidance is available in the IFC’s Performance Standard 3: Pollution Prevention and Abatement and related Guidance Note. 3.3 Operations: ore extraction, processing and waste disposal 3.3.1 Ore extraction and processing The clearing of overburden and pit development are often the most dramatic visual impacts of mining, but even with large mines the areal extent of the pit can be quite limited. The primary impacts on biodiversity result from land clearance for the pit, access routes, and progressive expansion into new areas. Typically, large, long-life mines undergo many expansions in area and capacity, generating a sequence of events that can be the equivalent of new mines being started, so there may also be a requirement to conduct a new Environmental and Social Impact Assessment or update the initial ESIA. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 36 The more gradual and progressive clearing of vegetation to make way for mine facilities and access roads is illustrative of how a great number of smaller impacts can eventually leave areas of natural habitat isolated and sub-critical in size. Introduction of alien or invasive weeds and feral fauna can have secondary impacts that extend well beyond the mine, and these need to be explicitly considered within the EMS or related action plans (see section 5.3 on EMS). Overburden stripping or removal and disposal of waste rock (that is, non-ore- bearing rock or noneconomic ore grades) can also occupy large areas of land and create additional potential impacts on biodiversity through contaminated runoff. This may result from erosion and particulate runoff, especially in high rainfall areas, or from sulphide-bearing wastes leading to acidic runoff and the associated leaching of metals. Standard mitigation measures may be applied to mitigate such impacts (see section 7.3.2 on rehabilitation implementation and maintenance). Different mining methods present different risks and opportunities for biodiversity. Underground mines typically have a small footprint associated with ore extraction and processing. Open pit mines progressively deepen and widen, increasing the areas disturbed each year and offering few opportunities for early rehabilitation. Open cast mines usually offer opportunities for progressive rehabilitation, as the mined areas may be recontoured behind the active mining areas. ‘Conventional’ ore extraction involves blasting, excavating, and hauling mined ores to processing facilities. Other forms of ore extraction, however, may have acute impacts on biodiversity at the ore extraction stage. Strip mining of shallow and extensive coal deposits results in the clearing of large areas. Placer mining of alluvial deposits (of gold or titanium, for example) often involves even more extensive shallow deposits, which are frequently located in stream beds or wetlands. The presence or proximity of water creates additional challenges for managing the impacts of extraction, although the highly weathered and concentrated nature of the deposits means that the tailings are generally inert (see section 3.3.2 on management of tailings). In addition to the effects on biodiversity associated with land clearance or disturbance, mining operations also have significant potential to affect aquatic, riparian or wetland biodiversity – for example, through altering hydrologic or hydrogeological regimes by mine dewatering or diversion of surface watercourses. In addition, wetland, riparian or aquatic biodiversity may be affected by activities such as effluent discharges to watercourses that either support biodiversity or lie next to wetland or riparian areas of high ecological value, migration of groundwater with low levels of acidity or high levels of metal contaminants from beneath waste rock or tailings storage areas and abstraction of surface or groundwater for minerals processing and potable usage. Processing facilities, storage areas, ore stockpiles and office areas are reasonably limited in size, although they represent additional takings of land and loss of biodiversity. On-site storage and transport of hazardous materials are also a factor, as discussed in the previous chapter. The main potential impacts on biodiversity relate to: • accidental releases of process chemicals and tailings disposal from hydrometallurgical processing – that is, minerals processing based on the use of solutions or solvents, primarily water combined with other process chemicals (see section 3.3.2 on management of tailings); Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 37 • air emissions from pyrometallurgical processes such as roasting and smelting, which include sulphur dioxide, particulates and heavy metals, which may be toxic to flora or fauna; • disposal of slag from pyrometallurgical processes which contains toxic metals; and • low-grade stockpiles seeping into surface and groundwaters. Plume dispersion impact modelling of pyrometallurgical emissions will often consider impacts on human receptors, but need to be refined to address impacts on biodiversity. Figure 3.2: Examples of the intersection of operations and biodiversity Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 38 M IN IN G AC TI VI TI ES Or e pr oc es si ng a nd p la nt s ite Pl an t s ite , m at er ia ls h an dl in g, e tc . Ex tr ac tio n an d w as te ro ck s to ra ge Ro ck b la st in g an d or e re m ov al M in e de w at er in g Pl ac er a nd d re dg e m in in g Or e st oc kp ili ng Py ro m et al lu rg ic al p ro ce ss in g Hy dr om et al lu rg ic al p ro ce ss in g Us e an d st or ag e of p ro ce ss c he m ica ls Ta ili ng s co nt ai nm en t/d is po sa ls POTENTIAL IMPACTS Impacts on terrestrial biodiversity Loss of ecosystems and habitats Loss of rare and endangered species Effects on sensitive or migratory species Effects of induced development on biodiversity Aquatic biodiversity & impacts of discharges Altered hydrologic regimes Altered hydrogeological regimes Increased heavy metals, acidity or pollution Increased turbidity (suspended solids) Risk of groundwater contamination Air quality related impacts on biodiversity Increased ambient particulates (TSP) Increased ambient sulfur dioxide (SO2) Increased ambient oxides of nitrogen (NOx) Increased ambient heavy metals Social interfaces with biodiversity Loss of access to fisheries Loss of access to fruit trees, medicinal plants Loss of access to forage crops or grazing Restricted access to biodiversity resources Increased hunting pressures Induced development impacts on biodiversity ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 3.3.2 Management of tailings Tailings arise where mined ores are upgraded to concentrates or final products by physical processes such as screening, crushing and grinding or by chemical methods such as leaching. The biodiversity impacts of tailings storage chiefly occur in three different ways. First, creation of the initial footprint has unavoidable impacts, and thus site selection is the design factor with the most profound influence on operational impacts, rehabilitation costs and post-closure liability. Site choice can significantly alter the impacts on biodiversity and its users. Second, tailings may contain entrained liquors and mobile metal contaminants, and these can seep into groundwaters or emerge in surface streams, with ecological impacts. Third, accidents, which happen rarely, can have catastrophic impacts and be widely publicized. Good design and construction, along with management and monitoring systems (see Chapter 5), will minimize the likelihood of accidents occurring as well as the opportunity for adverse campaigning and publicity by local communities and national and international NGOs. The waste material or tailings may be disposed of in a number of ways, with differing implications for biodiversity. Land-based storage is the most common method used. It usually involves constructing a dam across a valley and creating a tailings impoundment, except in flat areas where the ‘dam’ may encircle the entire impoundment. In some circumstances, it may be possible to return tailings to a mined void. In countries where precipitation exceeds evaporation, such as Canada and Norway, water-retaining dams and diversion structures can be created around existing water bodies to allow tailings to be placed below the water surface. This method has the advantage of preventing oxidation of sulphidic tailings and related acid drainage. The potential impacts of these structures on biodiversity are usually localized, but if a breach occurs the downstream impacts can be significant and extensive. Submarine tailings disposal (STD) is used in some cases. Modern STD systems typically involve treating tailings to remove the most harmful chemicals, de-aerating and diluting with seawater (to reduce buoyancy) and then pumping tailings through a submerged pipe prior to discharge at depths of 80 – 100 metres. The aim is to release tailings below the surface thermocline and euphotic zone, so the tailings form a ‘density current’ that readily descends to the depths of the ocean. While proponents argue that the somewhat uncertain impacts on bottom-dwelling (benthic) organisms are preferable to land-based impacts on biodiversity, the efficacy of STD is challenged on environmental grounds. Critics point to the risks of pipe breakages, unanticipated patterns of tailings dispersal and impacts on benthic organisms, and they challenge the acceptability of disposing of contaminants in the sea. The final method of tailings disposal is riverine disposal, where surface waters can be used to dilute and disperse tailings or, in other cases, as a means to transport tailings to a managed deposition area where they can be stabilized and rehabilitated. The practice is not common and is used in situations where high rainfall, mountainous terrain and seismic activity rule out other options. Irrespective of which method is used, the implications for biodiversity should be explicitly considered. Determination of the appropriateness of any particular tailings management practice must be made on a case-by-case basis. Risk assessment procedures can be used to identify potential and probable impacts and thus the Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 39 appropriateness of different tailings management scenarios. The risk assessment, through the use of multiple lines of evidence, can also be used to make determinations and predictions of future risks. The appropriate tailings management method should meet the requirements set by the results of the risk assessment in conjunction with those of regulatory agencies and other stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement tools and processes are described in Chapter 6. 3.4 Opportunities for biodiversity protection or enhancement The primary focus of the GPG up to this point has been on potential impacts or threats to biodiversity from mining. These impacts occur within a broader context of threats to biodiversity that need to be considered if mitigation or protection/enhancement efforts are to be successful. The identification of external threats is discussed further in Chapter 5 (see section 5.4.1 on maturity of the conservation context). However, these threats also represent opportunities to go beyond mitigating adverse impacts on biodiversity and to explore opportunities to enhance biodiversity conservation. This aspect is discussed in greater detail in section 7.5. The assessment of threats to biodiversity and the development of conservation or enhancement proposals must not take place in isolation but with the engagement of key stakeholders. For example, stakeholders have an important role to play in identifying and establishing priorities regarding threats to areas of importance for biodiversity, as well as in developing and implementing proposals for conservation enhancement. These aspects are explored further in Chapter 6 (see section 6.2 on stakeholder identification and analysis). In addition, section 5.4 proposes an extension of current approaches to ESIA to include an assessment of the factors that would influence the likely success of mitigation or enhancement measures. Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 40 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 41 4.1 Introduction 43 Describes closure planning and implementation and provides an overview of the content of the chapter. 4.2 Closure planning: Establishing objectives and targets 44 Outlines the factors to be considered in setting biodiversity objectives and targets for mine closure that are then integrated into mine closure plans. 4.3 Closure implementation: Rehabilitation and pollution prevention 47 Emphasizes the transient nature of mining and the critical importance of having post-closure land uses supported by rehabilitation and pollution prevention measures. See checklist 4.1 on page 124 Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 42 Chapter 4. Integrating Biodiversity into Closure Planning and Implementation 4.1 Introduction For the purposes of this GPG, closure planning refers to the process for ensuring that mining operations are closed in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, usually with the overarching objective of ensuring sustainable post-mining land uses. The process of planning for closure should engage stakeholders extensively on their post-closure objectives and aspirations and should attempt to reconcile any competing perspectives (such as economic post-closure land uses as opposed to biodiversity conservation land uses). It must take a whole-of-mine-life perspective and address all aspects of closure, not just those relating to biodiversity conservation and rehabilitation. Closure implementation involves rehabilitation and pollution prevention measures to ensure that post-closure objectives are achieved, as well as complementary measures to address social and economic aspects (see Figure 4.1). Figure 4.1: Integrating biodiversity into closure planning Whereas Chapters 2 and 3 primarily focused on impact identification and to some extent mitigation, closure planning is primarily about identifying and implementing opportunities for rehabilitation and conservation enhancement. Planning for closure should begin during the project development phase and be revisited periodically throughout the operational phase. The closer a mine is to closure, the more details the plans should contain. Closure planning presents an opportunity for restoration of Exp lora tion Pre/feasibility Construction Ancillary Infrastructure Implementation P lan nin g E xtr ac tio n/ pr oc es sin g Env iron menta l Management Systems Stak eholder Engagement Environmental and Social Asse ssm ent Mitigation and rehabilitio n to ols New Projo ectc Development Closure Op erarar tata i on sSystems, tools & processes can apply at any stage of the project style Good Practice Guidance for Mining and Biodiversity 43 biodiversity affected during the exploration and operational phases, at least to some extent. It should consider the findings of baseline and ongoing biodiversity surveys and monitoring. An important focus of closure planning should be the long-term sustainability of conservation, mitigation and rehabilitation measures and any related monitoring requirements. 4.2 Closure planning: Establishing objectives and targets Achievable objectives and targets for biodiversity re-establishment are essential to give the company a framework on which to base its rehabilitation program and to provide measurable standards against which regulatory authorities and other stakeholders can determine whether the company has met all necessary requirements prior to mine closure and lease relinquishment. These targets and objectives for biodiversity should be integrated into the overall EMS for an operation (see section 5.3 on EMS). The establishment of closure targets and objectives is not a one-shot desk-based exercise; it should be developed through a dynamic and iterative process involving mining stakeholders. When setting biodiversity objectives and targets, the following aspects should always be taken into account: Relevant regulatory requirements and other guidelines: These will usually include requirements specified in the EMP to the ESIA prepared prior to project approval and construction, as well as other applicable laws, regulations, policies and guidelines (such as those pertaining to biodiversity protection and rare species conservation). The register of legal requirements developed for the operations’ EMS should be checked and the requirements should be discussed with relevant government authorities. In addition, any national or regional initiatives and action plans to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity should be reviewed in the context of setting closure targets. Effective consultation with key stakeholders: Consultations with stakeholders on matters relating to closure should commence early and initially focus on broader issues of post-closure land uses. However, as additional information becomes available on biodiversity through ongoing monitoring and surveys, rehabilitation scenarios can be developed, ideally with the involvement of stakeholders (see section 6 on stakeholder engagement tools and processes). This was the approach adopted at Misima Mines in Papua New Guinea (PNG) (see Box 4.1). Competing interests need to be understood and reconciled: Linked to the previous point on consultation, there are likely to be competing pressures and perspectives on desirable post-closure land uses. For example, farmers may like to see land being converted to productive agricultural or forestry uses, planners may see th
EMI 7210 FALL 2021 Term Assignment (25% of overall mark) Assignment Date: October 26, 2021 Assignment Due Date: November 26, 2021 76 Marks Total Introduction This assignment is an applied assignment that will require the application of the primary course objectives. You are an Environmental Scientist employed by ACME Consulting (ACME) and have been approached by the mine’s Environmental Coordinator to be the project manager and guide ACME staff through the project. The environmental manager is familiar with ACME Consulting and has indicated that the project will be Sole Sourced to ACME. Mr. W. E. Coyote is a senior engineer with ACME and will be the Project Director and approved signatory for the report. The purpose is to plan the closure of an open pit mine and associated waste rock pile. To accomplish this task you will be required to identify the potential sources, pathways and receptors. In an effort to prevent impacts to the receptors you will be required to develop mitigation strategies that consider appropriate legislative and regulatory requirements as well as best practice recommendations summarized in documents such as the GARD Guide, developed by the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP). This assignment is based on a mine located near Thunder Bay, Ontario. The mine is nearing closure and has extracted sulphide based copper and nickel ore. The client has requested a detailed review of their current closure plan. You are an Environmental Scientist who has been approached by the Project Manager to provide support for the mine closure plan and propose a post closure monitoring plan. The current closure plan proposes that the open pit be backfilled with the waste rock. The closure plan also proposes that an engineered cover designed to infiltration of oxygen and water be constructed on top of the backfilled pit and revegetated using grasses. Information provided in this folder includes the following: · Terrestrial Baseline Assessment Report; · Site Map; · Surface Water Quality Data; · Provincial Water Quality Objectives; · Photos of the open pit mine; and · Provincial Sediment Quality Guidelines. Materials presented in lectures should be used in the completion of this assignment. E-Laws provides access to updated documents for the: · Mining Act (O.Reg 240/00) (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90m14_e.htm); and · Lakes a nd Rivers Improvement Act http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90l03_e.htm#BK22). Your assignment shall not exceed eight (8) pages, line spacing must be set at double spaced and font size must be set at 11. The questions provided below must be used as headings for each section. All information required to answer the question should be included in each section. Answer the following based on the “Source, Transport/Pathway, Receptor” model for studying geochemical issues outlined in INAP’s GARD Guide. Answer the following questions using the relevant information provided in class and use the applicable regulatory requirements to support your proposed approach. When answering the question please consider the most effective way to present the information and clearly state any assumptions. Questions & Instructions Questions: 66 Marks Writing and References: 10 1. Project Statement [5 Marks] Clearly state the purpose and objectives of your closure plan review and the closure the project. 2. Geochemical Characterization Program Step 1: Identification of Source, Pathway and Receptors [15 Marks] Identify two potential sources of contaminants, what the contaminant is and the associated pathways and receptors on the site that may be associated with the open pit mine and waste rock. Use the provided background information and any applicable references to support your answer. Explain why you selected these sources. Step 2: Describe what Baseline Analysis is required to better understand the geochemical properties of the sources identified in step 1. [15 Marks] Baseline analysis is an important first step in developing a Geochemical Characterization Program. In your answer describe why. Using table format list 3 potential baseline studies in one column that could be conducted at this site to support the closure project. In the second column describe the 3 studies listed above in greater detail. (What is the value of performing the studies? What valuable information will the studies provide for the Geochem Program? Will the studies be required to support permitting and/or monitoring requirements? Where will you sample and why?) Step 3: Project Planning In this section use table format to identify three Health and Safety considerations that your field staff will need to consider when completing the baseline studies identified in Step 2. In one column indicate the risk and in a second column indicate the mitigation that the staff can implement to address the risk. Step 4: Closure approach: b) Provide support for the closure approach identified for the open pit mine and the waste rock [15 Marks] As noted above the proposed closure approach is backfilling the pit with waste rock. Use the regulatory requirements and your understanding of the source/pathway/receptor assessment to support why the proposed approach is acceptable. Step 5: Monitoring a) Develop a post closure monitoring program and link your program to applicable regulatory requirements [10 Marks] Include why you selected these monitoring requirements, how they meet the regulatory requirements for monitoring and how they are supported by your baseline monitoring program.
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