Current status

Environmental assessment: approved, November 17, 2010

Project summary

The purpose of the undertaking is for the installation and operation of up to 20 megawatts (MW) of diesel generated electrical capacity at the existing Musselwhite Mine.


Goldcorp Canada Limited


480 kilometers northwest of Thunder Bay



Reference Number



Environmental Assessment and Permissions Branch

Project history

Environmental assessment: approved
Date submitted: January 15, 2010
Expiry of public comment period: March 5, 2010
Expiry of public comment period for Ministry Review: June 4, 2010
Decision date: November 17, 2010

Terms of reference: approved
Date submitted: November 14, 2008
Expiry of public comment period: December 15, 2008
Decision date: April 1, 2009

Environmental assessment

The Musselwhite Mine is owned and operated by Goldcorp Canada Limited (Goldcorp) and is a fully operational gold mine located approximately 480 kilometres (km) northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The projected life of the mine has been extended from 2017 (the original estimated life of the mine) to approximately 2028 as additional mineral reserves have been confirmed by Goldcorp at the site. To mine these reserves, Goldcorp needs approximately 20 megawatts (MW) of additional electrical capacity to increase underground ventilation and maintain safe working conditions. Currently, the provincial grid does not have adequate capacity to supply electricity to the mine based on the projected demand. A detailed engineering study conducted by Goldcorp of alternatives for supplying the mine’s power needs concluded that on-site diesel generation was the only reliable and feasible option.

The additional diesel generation at the mine site requires the completion of an environmental assessment (EA) pursuant to the Electricity Projects Regulation (Ontario Regulation 116/01) under the Environmental Assessment Act.

The environmental effects were studied within the following boundaries:

  • The on-site footprint, and the immediate surrounding area; and,
  • Along the transportation route which will be used to deliver the fuel supply for the generators.

Prior to proceeding with construction, the proponent will also need to receive all other applicable approvals. The mine has an existing basic comprehensive Certificate of Approval (Air) which will need updating.

The Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply Project EA study process has been summarized in a report, for submission to the Ontario Minister of the Environment for formal review and approval, in accordance with Section 6.2(1) of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act. A Notice of Submission was published on January 7, 2010. The public review period for the Musselwhite Mine Main Power Supply EA ended on March 5, 2010, initiating the start of the ministry Review which is now complete. The EA was approved November 17 2010.

Learn more on the notice of approval.

Terms of reference


A detailed study has been completed of the options available for increasing the power supply for the site. The study considered local generation using renewable and fossil fuel sources as well as getting additional power from the provincial electrical grid and provided recommendations to meet the short term and long term needs of the mine site. The study concluded that while the preferred long term alternative is to obtain additional electrical power from the provincial grid, this is not currently possible due to capacity constraints and that the only feasible alternative to meet the short term power needs of the mine site is with on-site diesel generators.

Study area

The environmental effects will be studied within the following boundaries:

  • A one km radius from the location of the proposed diesel generators, proposed to be installed on the existing active mine site; and,
  • Along the transportation route which will be used to deliver the fuel supply for the generators.

Learn more on the notice of approval.