NRCan’s Mandate Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources products.
NRCan’s Role in this review Regulatory role – Explosives Act Earth sciences expertise: Permafrost and Geotechnical Science Coastal Geomorphology, Climate Change Geotechnical Engineering and Natural Hazards
Technical Review Recommendations - Permafrost and Geotechnical Science NRCan provided 12 recommendations regarding: Maintaining waste rock pile frozen conditions Modelling to ensure a permafrost barrier the diversion berms Railway terrain analyses Environmental monitoring and management methods for the railway corridor
Technical Review Recommendations - Coastal Geomorphology NRCan provided 27 recommendations regarding: Coastal change due to ship wake Climate change impacts on coastal infrastructure Slope and permafrost information for Milne port and subsea permafrost presence at Steensby port Shoreline change information regarding the Milne Port freight dock effects on Philips Creek spit
Technical Review Recommendations - Geotechnical Engineering and Natural Hazards NRCan provided 7 recommendations regarding Waste rock pile – sludge volume, stability, post-closure monitoring Railway tunnel early warning systems during rockfall events Spill contingency plans for borrow pits
Baffinland Iron Mine Corporation (BIMC) Commitments BIMC’s commitments (October 28, revised November 4) address 28 of NRCan’s 46 recommendations NRCan and BIM met on Oct. 20, 2011 to discuss specific recommendations related to primarily to wake effects and sediment movement at Milne Port
NRCan Outstanding Recommendations NRCan would like to clarify certain BIMC commitments made during the technical meetings, e.g., Ship wake assessment Hydrodynamic and sediment transport models NRCan can continue to work with BIMC to discuss and resolve technical issues identified in commitments, e.g.: Permafrost and the design approach for the waste rock pile Remote sensing of bottom-fast ice Existence of subsea permafrost Estimates of sea level rise
Recommendations Not Fully Resolved: Wake Effects and Coastal Change Clarification of the location of the proposed Eastern Shipping Route between Koch Island and Cape Jensen (#14). Upon final decision on the vessels forming the ore transport fleet and the chartered freight vessels, the modelled potential wake characteristics (# 16). NRCan’s recommendations seek an explanation why the route between Koch Island and Cape Jensen was modelled for wake effects, instead of the narrower passage to the north and why a shorter distance was not used, given that ships may travel closer to the shore.
Recommendations Not Fully Resolved: Coastal Change Installation of permanent year-round wave gauges to measure natural and wake-influenced waves in open water and sea ice (#18). NRCan is looking for the FEIS to describe approach to wave gauges in the Marine Mammal and Shipping Management Plan. Consultation with NRCan experts in remote sensing towards a determination of bottom-fast ice extents and the potential existence of subsea permafrost in Milne and Steensby Inlets (#36). A similar commitment related to the pack ice baseline could be amended to address NRCan’s recommendation.
Unresolved Recommendations: Waste Rock Pile and Thermal Analysis Five recommendations (#1-5) concern demonstrating that frozen conditions will be maintained within and beneath the waste rock pile: Preliminary thermal analysis Collection of site data for thermal analysis in final design Incorporation of climate conditions, change and variability Long-term (100+ years) prediction of frozen conditions Development of monitoring and mitigation/ management plans, criteria for selection of mitigation measure in FEIS
Unresolved Recommendations: Waste Rock Pile and Thermal Analysis Two recommendations (#40,41) for long-term stability of the waste rock stockpile: Volume of sludge and distribution Influence on thermal regime and stability of stockpile adjacent to SWM pond Further discussions planned on the approach to determining the active layer for the waste rock pile and rationale in the FEIS (in consultation with NRCan, EC and AANDC). Commitment (#108) considered for thermal modelling as part of detailed design should be confirmed in FEIS.
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