Permitting and Community Relations
The Company is in the final stages of the Environmental Assessment (“EA”) and permitting process in both the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan and has received approval from the Federal Minister and Tlicho Government for the mine and mill.
Fortune has been collecting baseline environmental data, traditional knowledge and socio-economic information for the NICO project in the Northwest Territories since 1998. The Company has worked diligently to refine the project design to minimize environmental impacts with significant input from the local Tlicho people. This includes hiring two former Chiefs of the Tlicho Government as community liaisons to communicate the impacts and benefits of NICO to the people in their own language. NICO was referred to environmental assessment in the Northwest Territories in February 2009 after applications were filed to permit the mine and concentrator. Terms of Reference were received later that year and Fortune submitted its Developers Assessment Report to the Mackenzie Valley Review Board (“MVRB”) in 2011 addressing the issues that had been identified. On January 25, 2013 the MVRB concluded its EA and recommended approval of the proposed mine and mill. On July 19, 2013 Fortune announced that it received approval for the NICO mine and mill from the Tlicho Government, as well as from the Federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Similarly, the SMPP in Saskatchewan was referred to EA in 2010 and the Company filed its Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) in 2011. The next step is for the Saskatchewan Environmental Assessment Branch to post the EIS and associated documentation for public review. This will be followed by the recommendation to the Saskatchewan Minister of Environment.