Natural Resources Notebook

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Awaiting a decision on Sandy Pond case

Members of the Sandy Pond Alliance have yet to receive a decision from the Federal Court on a case over environmental regulations and fish habitat protections.

The alliance was formed in 2009 and pressed a case based on the fate of Sandy Pond, near Long Harbour.

The pond has since been transformed into a tailings impoundment area for Vale’s new hydromet processing facility.

Final hearings on the legal case were held at Supreme Court in

St. John’s in late February.

The alliance argued the government should not have been able to OK the use of the pond, or any other natural water body in Canada, as an impoundment for mining effluent — at least not under the existing regulations. Alliance lawyer Owen Myers argued changes to the federal Fisheries Act in 2002 were not in line with existing statutes and the purpose of the Fisheries Act.

Extending Wabush mines

The Iron Ore Co. of Canada (IOC) will have to submit a detailed environmental impact statement for its proposed additional open pit mine at Labrador City-Wabush.

The mine would extend the life of IOC’s operations in the area.

According to government, the company’s detailed filing will have to speak to surrounding ecosystems, show groundwater models for the area, air quality analysis, as well as an “analysis of socio-economic effects and alternatives to certain mine design components.”

The mine is expected to cover an area of about 460 hectares within the Labrador City planning boundary.

OK for second Forteau wharf

A proposal for a new wharf and industrial lay-down area near Forteau, Labrador, has been released from further environmental assessment.

Having reviewed an Environmental Preview Report for the project from proponent Bay Bulls Properties Ltd and public comments, Minister Tom Hedderson decided to give the project a green light.

It is the second waterfront project for Forteau to make it through environmental assessment this year.

As reported, C&T Enterprises is considering a marine terminal on Forteau Bay, with a 2.8-hectare laydown area and wharf.

The two projects position the town as a supply centre, particularly for future work on the Labrador-Island Link for the Muskrat Falls power project.

Anglo American is in

Altius Minerals has announced a deal with mining company Anglo American, supporting exploration on a — get ready for it — nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum-palladium prospect in southern Labrador.

The Natashquan project area is about 140 kilometres southwest of Churchill Falls and covers about 256 square kilometres.

“With an initial spend of $650,000 in 2013, Anglo American has the option to earn a 66 per cent interest in the project, through agreed additional expenditures of $20 million over a five year period,” states a news release issued by Altius this week.

Anglo American will be the operator for work at the site while it earns its way into the project.

Aircraft draws investigators

The Department of Natural Resources is continuing to do follow-up on the firefighting plane lost into a lake in Labrador earlier this month.

The plane went down while fighting a large forest fire in Labrador West. There were no injuries reported.

On Tuesday, a spokeswoman with the Department of Transportation and Works confirmed the waterbomber is in the hands of insurance agents.

“The aircraft is now out of the water, still on site, and insurers continue to investigate; and the Transportation Safety Board is also investigating,” stated an email in response to questions.

The Natural Resources Notebook

is compiled by reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick.

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Organizations: Sandy Pond Alliance, IOC, Federal Court Anglo American Supreme Court Iron Ore Co. of Canada Bay Bulls Properties CT Enterprises Department of Natural Resources Department of Transportation and Works Transportation Safety Board

Geographic location: Sandy Pond, Labrador West, Labrador Long Harbour.The Canada Forteau Bay Churchill Falls

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