K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. mining rights only lease renewal
Learn about the environmental assessment process for the renewal of two existing mining leases for the salt mine operations at the Ojibway Mine.
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The purpose of the project is to obtain comments on the renewal of two existing mining leases issued under the Mining Act. The leases form an integral part of the overall salt mining operation of the Ojibway Mine.
The Ojibway Mine located in Windsor, Ontario has been in operation since 1955 and employs over 225 people. On an annual basis, the Ojibway Mine produces up to 3 million metric tons of salt.
K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. (the “company”) has a comprehensive network of salt production sites throughout Canada designed to produce and package salt for consumer and industrial uses. The company is engaged in the recovery, processing and sale of salt, and provides over 200 evaporated and rock salt products under its well-known Windsor and Safe-T-Salt brand names. Products made from evaporated salt (recovered from brine) are used in household and food products, as well as for agricultural, water softening and industrial purposes. Mined rock salt is sold to household and industrial markets for ice control.
The company holds three mining leases issued under the Mining Act which allow for rock salt extraction beneath the Detroit River in southern Ontario, two of which are up for renewal. The mining leases are for lands that were not subject to the mining claim registration process, due to the unique nature of salt extraction and the location of the lands.
The two leases up for renewal each contain renewal provisions for at least one additional term of 21 years if mine production is expected to last longer than the current term. The conditions to this renewal have been satisfied so the company is entitled to renewed leases; however, it is open to the province to impose new terms and conditions on the leases, if determined expedient. The existing terms and conditions in the leases that confirm the leases are subject to applicable environmental legislation, as well as the terms and conditions that protect water quality, natural water flow, navigation of the waters, and fishing rights, are proposed to be retained. To view copies of the leases, as well as the proposed new draft terms for the renewed leases, navigate to the posting for this item on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
These two leases are essential for the continued operations of the underground salt mine. They form an integral part of the overall mining operation as they provide travel and escape ways to the mine including critical sub-surface equipment such as the main conveyor belt and air exhaust systems.
The mining area is progressing south beneath the Detroit River and away from the mine shaft and surface infrastructure.
There are no new environmental impacts anticipated as a consequence of the proposal, as most of the mine’s activities are underground and such activities are regulated by other environmental legislation and regulations, not through the terms and conditions of the lease.
K+S Windsor Salt Ltd.
Environmental Registry of Ontario #: 019-3585
Lisette Prudhomme, Mines and Minerals Division
Proposal to renew the mining leases: submitted
Date submitted: May 3, 2021
Expiry of public comment period: June 3, 2021
Notice of opportunity to provide input on a category B project (2021)
The ministry invites you to comment on the renewal of two existing mining leases, #106466 and #107254, used to support and provide access to the underground salt mine operations of the Ojibway Mine below the Detroit River. The lessee has met the conditions for renewal for a 21-year term lease, and while the ministry is obliged by the terms of the existing leases to grant the requested renewals, the ministry has discretion with respect to the terms and conditions that will apply to the renewed leases.
The ministry proposes to retain the existing terms and conditions in the leases that confirm the leases are subject to applicable environmental legislation, as well as terms and conditions related to water quality and protection of fishing rights. The ministry invites you to identify and communicate any concerns or comments in relation to the ministry’s consideration of appropriate terms and conditions for the renewed mining leases.
We do not anticipate any new environmental impacts associated with the renewal of these leases. The ongoing environmental effects of the Ojibway salt mine are managed and mitigated through other regulatory processes and not through the terms of the leases.
This proposed Category B project is being carried out in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for activities under the Mining Act (Class EA).
You are invited to provide input and express any concerns about the proposed terms and conditions for the lease renewals. Comments must be received by June 3, 2021.
For more information or to submit comments, please contact:
Please note that personal information provided in a submission (such as 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. The personal information may also be shared with the Environmental Approvals and Permissions Branch of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation 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 the contact listed above.
Statement of completion for a category B project (2022)
The ministry has completed its assessment in connection with its proposal to set terms and conditions for two existing mining leases, #106466 and #107254, used to support and provide access to the underground salt mine operations of the Ojibway Mine below the Detroit River.
The ministry proposed to retain existing terms and conditions in the renewed leases, with minor changes that include the provision that the leases are subject to applicable environmental legislation, as well as terms and conditions that protect water quality, natural water flow, navigation of the waters, and fishing rights.
The category B screening, consultation and project review was carried out in accordance with the Class Environmental Assessment for activities under the Mining Act (Class EA).
The comment period ended on June 3, 2021. Most of the comments received on this posting were requests for additional information.
The ministry responded to these requests and provided information where possible. None of the comments articulated specific concerns about the environmental impacts of the Ojibway salt mine.
Two First Nations in the region, Walpole Island First Nation and Caldwell First Nation, provided comments. These comments were addressed by the ministry and they were encouraged to contact the company directly. No other commenters requested additional or modified terms and conditions in the lease, nor did they refer to impacts to the environment that could potentially be mitigated through revised terms and conditions.
As authorized by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the ministry has issued the leases on the terms proposed, with the only changes from the proposed terms being clerical edits that have no environmental impact.
Dated the 6th day of April 2022
[Original Signed by]
Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
777 Bay Street, 5th floor
Toronto ON M7A 2J3