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Regulatory Matters and Permitting

(Information in the Current Regulatory Processess Section is posted in reverse chronological order)

Current Regulatory Processes

All Season Road EA

On April 16, 2014, NorZinc applied to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board ("MVLWB") and Parks Canada for permits to construct, maintain and operate an All Season Road from the Mine to the Liard Highway, and to build and operate an airstrip connected to the road.

The MVLWB referred the applications to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board ("MVRB" or "Review Board") on May 22, 2014 for environmental assessment ("EA") EA1415-001.

Following various technical meetings, information requests, community hearings and technical reports, the Review Board, in September 2017, issued its Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision for the Prairie Creek All Season Road Project for the Prairie Creek Mine (the “EA Report”) and submitted the EA Report to the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, with a recommendation that the development be approved, subject to the measures described in the Report.

The Review Board recommended the approval of the Prairie Creek All Season Road be made subject to implementation of the measures described in the Report, which it considers are necessary to prevent significant adverse impacts on the environment and local people.

In January 2018, the Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, invoked a two-month extension to the timeline for the Minister’s decision on the Report of Environmental Assessment for the Prairie Creek All Season Road, originally due by February 12, 2018, to allow the federal and territorial governments to complete aboriginal consultations.

In connection with such consultations, on January 19, 2018, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (“INAC”) provided NorZinc with five information requests, identifying specific issues raised by Indigenous groups that need further clarity through proponent engagement, so the Responsible Ministers can be confident that the Crown has discharged its legal duty to meaningfully consult with potentially impacted Indigenous groups.

INAC requested NorZinc to engage the Nahanni Butte Dene Band, Liidlii Kue First Nation and the Dehcho First Nations, as recommended by the Review Board, to gain an understanding of the Indigenous groups’ concerns, discuss and determine how the Indigenous groups will be included in monitoring and discuss the Indigenous groups’ requests for support to participate in implementation of the measures recommended by the Review Board and the commitments made by NorZinc in the environmental assessment process.

NorZinc cooperated with the request from INAC and engaged with Indigenous groups to discuss the implementation of various measures recommended by the Review Board, the sharing and incorporation of Dene traditional knowledge and values into project design and the inclusion of the Indigenous groups in environmental and wildlife monitoring of the All Season Road.

On June 11, 2018, the Company submitted its formal replies to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs to address all five information requests related to the implementation plans for various mitigation measures and proponent commitments contained in the EA Report. As requested in the Minister’s information requests, the Company continued working with the local Dene communities to address the implementation of various measures recommended by the Review Board. Key concerns which the Company and local Dene communities are addressing collaboratively include (a) sharing and incorporation of Dene knowledge and values into project design, (b) ensuring the Dene communities will be partners in environmental, wildlife and cultural monitoring of the All Season Road, and (c) addressing the Dene communities’ requests for support to participate in implementation of the measures recommended by the Review Board and the commitments made by the Company in the environmental assessment process.

On July 23, 2018, the Company received a letter confirming the positive decision of the Federal Minister of the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada to resume the decision phase for The Company's Prairie Creek All Season Road Environmental Assessment. On October 9, 2018, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, on behalf of the Responsible Ministers, issued a decision adopting the Review Board’s recommendation that the All Season Road for the Prairie Creek Mine be approved.

The permitting process has now entered the regulatory phase, conducted by the MVLWB which will receive input from territorial and federal agencies, culminating in road permits being issued by the Water Board and by Parks Canada. These permits will incorporate the recommended mitigation measures included in the EA Report. The regulatory phase is expected to be completed mid-2019.

NorZinc plans to construct the road over a period of three years. Prior to construction activities, the Company plans to conduct field investigations and prepare site plans (including detailed road design) and award construction contracts. Dependent on the permitting and financing timeline, construction of the All Season Road is planned to commence from a winter road in early 2020 and continue into 2022, in parallel with continuous and ongoing site construction and mine development.

The full text of the Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision, together with all proceedings, transcripts, technical reports and detailed information on the environmental assessment of the Prairie Creek Mine All Season Road EA1415-01[2014] are available on the website registry of the Review Board at http://reviewboard.ca/registry/project.php?project_id=680, under the file of Canadian Zinc Corporation.

Other Permitting Activities

Four applications have been made to the Water Board and decisions are pending subject to NZC's completion of engagement with Indigenous groups:

  • Amendment to operations Water Licence MV2008L2-0002 to extend the term of the Licence to 25 years.
  • Extension for two years to Winter Road LUP MV2012F0007, which had an original five year term that expired on January 10, 2018.
  • Extension for two years to Land Use Permit MV2013C0002, issued in April 2013 for a term of five years, which permits exploration drilling anywhere on the extensive Prairie Creek Property, and which expired on April 24, 2018.
  • Extension for two years to operations LUP MV2008D0014, issued in June 2013 for a term of five years, which permits operations at the Prairie Creek Mine, and which expired on June 16, 2018.

The Company also plans to make applications to the Water Board as follows:

  • Amendment to exploration Water Licence MV2001L2-0003 to extend the term by 2 years to September 9, 2021.
  • Replacement of underground exploration Land Use Permit MV2012C0008 which expires on May 10, 2019 and which is not extendable as it has already been extended by two years.
  • The Company also has made applications to Parks Canada for two-year extensions to Parks2012_W001 WL and Parks2012-L001 LUP, issued on August 26, 2013 for a period of five years, which authorize winter road access through the Nahanni National Park Reserve and connecting with the sections of winter road outside the Park.

Issued Permits

Extensive time and effort has been expended in permitting processes, and numerous Environmental Assessments have been carried out for various activities involving exploration and development.

A brief summary of the status of the operating permit process and each active permit follows with a link to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact and Review Board ("MVEIRB" or "MVRB") and/or the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board ("MVLWB") websites for a comprehensive list of documentation on the public registry relating to the particular permits. 

Permitting Status Overview

Permit Agency Number Comments
Operating Permits
Type "A" Mine Water Licence
Mine Land Use Permit
Liard Transfer Facility LUP
MVLWB
MVLWB
MVLWB
MV2008L2-0002
MV2008D0014
MV2008T0012
Permit issued
Permit issued
Permit issued
Winter Road Operating LUP MVLWB MV2012F0007 Two-year extension requested
Winter Road Operating Water Licence MVLWB MV2012L1-0005 Permit issued
Winter Road Operating LUP Parks Canada Parks2012-L001 Permit issued
Winter Road Operating Water Licence Parks Canada Parks2012_W001 Permit issued
Tetcela Transfer Facility LUP Parks Canada Parks2012-L001 Permit issued
Explosives Plant Natural Resources Canada n/a Application pending
Quarry permit - Mine AANDC n/a Application pending
Quarry permit - Road AANDC n/a Application pending
Bridge Crossings (2) NWPA Transport Canada n/a Not required
Exploration Phase Permits
Underground Decline LUP MVLWB MV2012C0008 Issued
Underground Decline Water Licence MVLWB MV2001L2-0003 Amended and extended
Road Land Use Permit MVLWB MV2003F0028 Issued
Road Land Use Permit Parks Canada 2009-L02 Issued and extended
Road Water Licence Parks Canada 2009-W02 Issued
Phase 4 Drilling LUP MVLWB MV2013C0002 Issued

Public Registry MVEIRB

Public Registry MVLWB MV2013C0002


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