Kirk Mine rehabilitation project
Learn about the environmental assessment process for the rehabilitation of mine hazards at the Kirk Mine.
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Statement of completion
The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate mine hazards at the Kirk Mine Site to eliminate the risk to the public and the environment.
The Kirk Mine Site (AMIS # 07769) is a former copper and gold mine, located in Aberdeen Township, approximately 40 kilometres east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The mine site contains a waste rock pile and three adits (horizontal passages) developed along a large vertical rock face.
The proposed rehabilitation activities will address the lower adit that allows access to the underground workings. No site access improvements will be needed to facilitate the rehabilitation work. We assume that the underground workings provide habitat to bat species at risk and as such the preferred rehabilitation strategy is the installation of a stainless-steel gate. The gate will eliminate safety concerns related to access by the public, while still allowing bats to easily enter and exit the underground workings.
The work is expected to occur over five days, during the summer months (between May 1 and October 31) when bats are not expected to be actively hibernating within the mine.
Ministry of Mines
Aberdeen Township, Algoma District
Environmental Registry of Ontario number: 019-7022
Notice of opportunity to provide input on a category B project (2023)
We invite you to comment on the Kirk Mine Rehabilitation Project. The proposed rehabilitation activities have been screened as a category B project with low potential for environmental effects. The undertaking is being carried out in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines under the Mining Act (PDF, amended 2018).
The ministry has identified several environmental effects associated with the undertaking, which can be mitigated using standard measures. A summary of negative environmental effects and proposed mitigation measures that would negate or reduce their significance is provided in the Project Description, which you can find with the supporting material for this project on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
We invite you to provide input and express any concerns about this proposed project. For more information or to submit comments, visit the posting for this project on the Environmental Registry of Ontario or contact:
Personal information you provide in a submission (such as your name, address and telephone number) and your views and opinions are being collected by the ministry under the authority of the Environmental Assessment Act for the purpose of engaging in public consultation and making decisions regarding the project.
Your personal information may also be shared with the Environmental Approvals Branch of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservations and Parks. The collection, use and disclosure of this information are all governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Questions about the collection of this information should be directed to:
Statement of completion for a category B project (2023)
The ministry has completed the project documentation for the proposed rehabilitation of mine hazards at the abandoned Kirk Mine (AMIS #07769). The mine is located in Aberdeen Township, approximately 40 kilometres east of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The rehabilitation activities will address an adit feature that allows access to the underground workings and is easily accessible by the public. Entering the underground workings of the mine can pose serious consequences due to dangers associated with falling rock, unstable ground, lack of oxygen, hazardous chemicals and encounters with old explosives or wildlife. It is assumed that the underground workings provide habitat to bat species at risk and, as such the rehabilitation approach is the installation of a stainless-steel gate. The gate will eliminate safety concerns related to access by the public, while still allowing bats to easily enter and exit the underground workings.
This undertaking has been assessed as a Category B, in accordance with A Class Environmental Assessment for Activities of the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines under the Mining Act (PDF).
The ministry distributed consultation letters to government agencies, Indigenous Communities, and other interested persons on May 17, 2023. In addition, a Notice of Opportunity to Provide Input was posted as a Bulletin Notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO #019-7022), and additionally on the MINES Class EA webpage. The notice and letters were supported with a description of the project that included a summary of potential negative environmental effects associated with the undertaking and proposed mitigation measures that would negate or reduce the significance of the environmental effects. All parties consulted were provided opportunity to provide input and express concerns related to the project over a 30-day comment period.
The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) – Species at Risk Branch advised that the bat gate installation may qualify for registration under the conditional exemption described in Section 23.18 – Threats to human health and safety (non-imminent) of Ontario Regulation 242/08 under the Endangered Species Act (ESA, 2007). This exemption applies to activities that are necessary to avoid or reduce a threat to human health or safety in situations where the threat is not imminent but is likely to have serious consequences in the short or long-term if the activity is not carried out. It was recommended by the MECP to complete the proposed activities prior to July 31 to ensure bats are not harassed during the swarming period. The work is expected to occur in the early summer of 2024.
The Metis Nation of Ontario expressed concerns related to potential water quality impacts to Bass Lake during the completion of the work. Project activities will occur approximately 60 metres from the southwestern shore of Bass Lake and no impacts to the waterbody are anticipated. Visual monitoring of the lake will be completed daily and if evidence of contamination is found, the work will stop immediately, and the Project Manager will be consulted on how to proceed.
No other comments were received that would affect the project as it is currently planned. The ministry will implement the project as described in the project documentation.
Dated July 7, 2023
[Original Signed by]
Senior Manager, Mine Rehabilitation Section
Ministry of Mines