Alamos Gold Inc. is a multinational gold mining corporation headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with three mines throughout North America and six in the development process. In recent news, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, approved the company’s Lynn Lake gold project in Manitoba. According to the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada’s Environmental Assessment Report, the project should provide a path forward toward sustainability.
“The proposed open-pit gold mine and new metal mill located near the Town of Lynn Lake, about 1000 kilometers north of Winnipeg, was subject to a robust federal review based on scientific evidence and Indigenous knowledge,” the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada explains.
The proposed open-pit mine will involve Alamos Gold redeveloping two previous operating mines in the area, including the Gordon and MacLellan sites. Upon project completion, the company expects to operate the mine for 13 years, fulfilling numerous economic development gaps in the town and greater region.
On the surface level, this project may seem like a way for Alamos Gold to strike new metal, though the path toward sustainability noted by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, is the primary tangible goal. The Lynn Lake gold project provides comprehensive community-wide benefits that support the infrastructure of the economic region.
To start, the proponent estimates that the redevelopment work will create up to 406 jobs during the construction phase and 412 during operation. While the construction phase jobs may be short-lived, the operational positions will be full-time and long-term.
While the Government of Canada granted approval to the proposal, it still wants to ensure that the project’s execution continues protecting the environment and providing sustainability for the community. To ensure that these requirements are maintained, the Minister’s Decision Statement came with 177 additional provisions that Alamos Gold must comply with throughout the duration of the project. The conditions cover a wide umbrella of topics protecting the socio-economic and health of Indigenous People, their culture, migratory birds, woodland caribou, fish and their habitats, water quality and quantity conditions, the atmospheric environment, and more.
“The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the environment for future generations while supporting economic development and job opportunities in Canada’s Northern Region. My decision to approve the Lynn Lake Gold Project was informed by a thorough federal environmental assessment based on scientific evidence and Indigenous knowledge. I am confident the strong legally-binding conditions established for the project will safeguard the environment and create a sustainable path forward,” the Minister explains.
As an example of these provisions in action, Alamos Gold can only conduct site-clearing activities outside of woodland caribou calving and calf-rearing seasons to protect the species’ population. The company may not destroy or disrupt any woodland caribou habitats in project efforts. To further support the endangered species, Alamos Gold will join habitat restoration programs, like the Manitoba Natural Resources and Northern Development collaring program.
Throughout the Lake Gold project, Alamos Gold will create and implement a follow-up program to view the effectiveness of the company’s mitigation measures relating to the woodland caribou’s survival, health, and habitat. Similar comprehensive requirements involving restrictions, support programs, and measurement follow-ups were included with all provisions to support the surrounding community.
“Canada is a mining nation. This important sector has provided livelihoods in regions right across the country, but particularly in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Today’s decision is good news for workers in Manitoba and thanks to an efficient and effective federal environmental assessment, it is also good news for the protection of important habitats and biodiversity. The development of Canada’s vast resources can, and must, be done in a manner that is science aligned and respects our environment,” the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, explains.
The Lynn Lake gold project is the fourth-approved mining project in the last year in accordance with the strict federal assessment process. The other approved projects include James Bay Lithium Mine Project, the Valentine Gold Project, and the Marathon Palladium Project.
13 Indigenous groups joined the environmental impact conversation and added their perspectives, knowledge, and expertise while drafting the provisions. The project and supporting organizations provided $730,000 to participating Indigenous groups as support throughout the review process.
With the project’s approval, Alamos Gold must oversee the proper operations for the next 13 years. Proposed changes to the provisions must be approved by the Agency, and any non-compliance will be considered a violation of federal law. Moving forward with the Lynn Lake project, Manitoba expects to see more long-term jobs, improved environmental impacts, and better outlooks for endangered species