Natural Resources Notebook

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Specialty tug contracted for Hebron construction

The anchor-handling tug Siem Amethyst will used to install the mooring system needed for the construction of the Hebron offshore oil platform.

The mooring system is required at the in-water construction site — when the platform base is floated out from its drydock at Bull Arm into Mosquito Cove.

A spokesman for Kiewit-Kvaerner Contractors (KKC) confirmed the Siem Amethyst has been booked by KKC.

Feds hit reset on IOC

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has tapped the brakes on a review of part of IOC’s proposed mine expansion near Labrador City.

The CEAA was screening a submission by IOC, to see if planned groundwater removal for the Wabush 3 development would need a full CEAA review.

On Aug. 2, the screening was called off.

The agency stated “a revised project description would have to be submitted” before the plans for Wabush 3 get another look.

Meanwhile, the provincial Department of Environment is continuing its review of the proposed expansion, including concerns expressed by the town about potential impact on the local water supply.

Nothing easy about it

Silver Spruce Resources Inc. president Peter Dimmell says his junior exploration company is committed to continuing work on the Big Easy gold-silver property near Thorburn Lake in eastern Newfoundland.

“We are continuing to move the Big Easy project forward even in these difficult times. ... Our focus continues to be to either raise money for continued exploration if markets improve or get a joint venture for the Big Easy property and we are hopeful that this will happen over the next few months,” he said, in a statement issued this week.

The property is 100 per cent held by Silver Spruce, but a lack of operational funds meant little exploration work this year.

Forestry plans change

The Department of Natural Resources is proposing to change the Crown Five-Year Operating Plan (2012-16) for Forestry Management Districts 4, 5, 6 and 8 — allowing for new access roads and new woods to harvest near Gander Bay.

The amendment specifically focuses in on an area near Harvey’s Pond and access to about 23,000 cubic metres of timber.

According to a description provided for an ongoing environmental assessment of the proposal, foresters need the access because some of the timber expected to be cut under the existing forestry plan boundaries has been excluded by an agricultural quarantine.

A map of the area proposed for commercial cutting is available on the Department of Environment website.

Public comments are due Sept. 6.

Oil opportunities next door

Word is getting around to suppliers in this province about oil and gas industry opportunities in Nova Scotia, tied to a rush of exploration commitments in that province.

For example, information sessions for potential suppliers to Shell’s Shelburne Basin exploration program are being held Aug. 19-22, starting in Halifax.

The Natural Resources Notebook

is compiled by reporter Ashley Fitzpatrick.

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Organizations: Kiewit-Kvaerner Contractors, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, IOC Big Easy Department of Environment Spruce Resources Department of Natural Forestry Management Districts 4

Geographic location: Hebron, Thorburn Lake, Eastern Newfoundland Silver Spruce Nova Scotia Halifax

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