Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering and one of the largest environmental services firms in Canada, says it has assisted Generation PGM Inc and its Marathon palladium-copper project in becoming the first mine in Ontario’s history to obtain environmental approval following a Joint Review Panel.
The project, a platinum group metals (PGM) and copper mine development and milling operation near the Town of Marathon in north-western Ontario, recently received approval from the federal and provincial governments’ coordinated Environmental Approval (EA) process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Ontario’s Environmental Assessment Act. The project is the first mining project in Ontario to be assessed through a Joint Review Panel pursuant to the Canada-Ontario Agreement on Environmental Assessment Cooperation (2004).
Generation PGM is a wholly owned subsidiary of Generation Mining.
Stantec led and coordinated preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Addendum and various technical reports as part of a collaboration with Generation PGM and other consultants. The firm’s experts completed technical assessments for the EIS Addendum, responded to information requests from the panel and shared expertise at the public hearing held by the Joint Review Panel.
Stantec’s discipline leads presented their conclusions and recommendations regarding the project as expert witnesses at the hearing in the areas of hydrology, hydrogeology, air quality, greenhouse gases, acoustics and socio-economics. The firm also coordinated preparation of the EIS Addendum based on updates to existing baseline conditions, changes to regulatory standards and refinements to the project relative to the original EIS – which was submitted in 2012 and supported by True Grit Engineering Ltd (acquired by Stantec in 2018). Generation PGM also retained Stantec to support consultation with agencies and Indigenous communities, consider comments and traditional knowledge, and scope follow-up programs and environmental management plans.
Stantec’s Chris Powell, Senior Environmental Planner, said: “This is a big win for the Marathon project, and Stantec is thrilled to have been a part of this process to leverage our expertise in mining and environmental assessment for Generation PGM in their efforts to proceed to the next phase of the project. This critical minerals project will provide a lot of opportunity for the region and benefits to the local Indigenous community, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg. I’m proud of our team for the hard work and dedication to deliver on such an important project.”
The Joint Review Panel’s public review process included 10 months of written filings and a public hearing consisting of 19 oral hearing days. The panel received input from more than 50 individuals, including representatives from Indigenous groups, government agencies and interest groups. This Joint Review Panel process was among the largest regulatory hearings of 2022. To secure the panel’s approval, Generation PGM and Stantec collaborated with experts from Ecometrix, Knight-Piésold, Northern Bioscience and WSP, with legal support from Cassels.
Drew Anwyll, Chief Operating Officer of Generation Mining, said: “We greatly appreciate the work of the Stantec team, who significantly contributed through the EIS Addendum and the Joint Review Panel hearings. Stantec worked side-by-side with the Generation team and other consultants and advisors with a ‘one-team approach’. Stantec stewarded us through this and made this less of a process. We are extremely proud to be the first mine in Ontario to be approved through the Joint Review Panel.”
Stantec says it continues to highlight its strong environmental assessment expertise and presence in north-western Ontario, following the success of the Greenstone Gold Mine’s Hardrock Project Federal EIS Approval in 2018 and Provincial EA Approval in 2019. For the Marathon project, Stantec continues to assist Generation PGM with components of its ongoing baseline monitoring and regulatory permitting work, led from Stantec’s Thunder Bay office.
Generation PGM will now proceed to obtain the necessary permits for construction and operation of the mine. The Marathon property covers a land package of approximately 220 sq.km. The processing plant will operate at approximately 9.2 Mt/y of ore, produce approximately 87,000 t/y of copper concentrate, and employ up to 1,000 workers during construction and 375 workers during operation.