Marathon Platinum Group Metals and Copper Mine Project
Project information about this designation and environmental assessment.
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You can comment on the potential environmental effects of the proposed Marathon Palladium Project until 11:59 p.m. on July 26, 2021.
The purpose of the undertaking is to develop an open pit mine to extract ore containing copper and platinum group metals including gold, platinum and palladium from a site about 10 kilometres north of the Town of Marathon.
Generation PGM Inc. (previously Stillwater Canada Inc.)
The proposed mining development is to be located about 10 km north of the Town of Marathon. The Town of Marathon is adjacent to the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 17) on the northeast shore of Lake Superior, approximately 300 km east of the City of Thunder Bay.
Carolyn Lee, Environmental Assessment Branch
Environmental impact statement addendum: submitted
Date submitted: April 19, 2021
Expiry of public comment period: July 26, 2021
Amended Joint Review Panel agreement and terms of reference: signed
Expiry of public comment period: October 26, 2020
Decision date: January 28, 2021
Environment impact statement: submitted
Date submitted: June 29, 2012
Expiry of public comment period: October 26, 2012
Environmental impact statement guidelines: issued
Expiry of public comment period: May 24, 2011
Decision date: August 9, 2011
Joint Review Panel agreement and terms of reference: signed
Expiry of public comment period: May 9, 2011
Decision date: August 8, 2011
Voluntary Agreement: signed
Date submitted: March 3, 2011
Decision date: March 23, 2011
Environmental assessment (Joint Review Panel process)
The Joint Review Panel (JRP) process for the Marathon Palladium Project is the first time that Ontario has formed a JRP with Canada, which integrates both federal and provincial requirements.
The JRP process will allow for careful study and a single, comprehensive assessment of both the benefits and possible impacts of the project before any decisions are made by Canada and Ontario.
The JRP has a mandate under both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 and the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act to consider whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
Stillwater Canada Inc. (Stillwater) submitted an environmental impact statement (EIS) to the JRP in July 2012. The JRP conducted its review of the EIS between 2012 and 2014, at which time the JRP process was placed on hold at the request of Stillwater.
Generation PGM Inc., acting as the proponent under a joint venture agreement with Stillwater requested to restart the JRP process.
The JRP was re-established on November 16, 2020. It will have 271 days to complete its mandate according to the timeline established under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. This includes holding a public hearing and preparing a recommendation report for submission to the federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment.
The JRP Agreement between Canada and Ontario was also amended with the consideration comments received from the public and Indigenous groups. The amended JRP agreement and terms of reference were signed by the federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment in January 2021.
On April 19, 2021 JRP process timelines resumed with Generation PGM Inc. responding to the outstanding information request from the former JRP and the submission of its EIS addendum report to the new JRP.
Submit a comment
The JRP is inviting public comments on the EIS addendum and the potential environmental effects of the proposed Marathon Palladium Project.
Read the JRP’s public notice on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry to learn how to review the EIS addendum and submit a comment.
The commenting period closes at 11:59 p.m. on July 26, 2021.
Additional opportunities for comment will be provided during the public hearing phase.
After the conclusion of the review of the EIS, the EIS addendum and updated feasibility information, the JRP will prepare a report setting out its conclusions and recommendations relating to the environmental assessment of the project.
The JRP report will be provided to the federal and provincial Ministers of the Environment, who will separately make decisions on whether to allow the mining project to proceed.
Federal environmental impact statement guidelines
The federal environmental impact statement (EIS) guidelines are issued by the federal Minister of the Environment and serve the purpose of setting out the scope and factors to be considered by a proponent when it prepares its EIS of its proposed project.
The EIS guidelines document for this project was developed by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (ministry), to incorporate requirements under both provincial and federal legislation. The draft EIS guidelines were posted on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry for public comment between March 25, 2011 and May 24, 2011, and the document was finalized taking into consideration comments received from the public and Indigenous groups.
The EIS guidelines incorporate key provisions of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act and include specific requirements by the ministry and other provincial ministries.
Specifically, the EIS guidelines indicate that the proponent’s EIS must:
- consider and evaluate alternatives
- document consultation activities
- identify the project’s possible environmental effects (including natural, social and economic)
- propose measures to mitigate adverse effects
- assess the significance of any adverse environmental effects after mitigation measures are implemented
Minister’s harmonization order and Joint Review Panel agreement (2011)
On March 23, 2011, Stillwater Canada Inc. (Stillwater) entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ontario Minister of the Environment to make the proposed project subject to the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). Federally, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act applies to the project.
On October 7, 2010, Canada’s Environment Minister referred the Marathon Palladium Project to a review panel due to potential environmental concerns. A review panel is a rigorous and transparent federal review process, appropriate for projects with the greatest potential for significant adverse environmental impacts.
To enable the coordination of federal and provincial environmental assessment requirements, Ontario entered into a project-specific agreement with the federal government to establish a Joint Review Panel for the review and assessment of the proposed project. The Joint Review Panel agreement includes the terms of reference that sets out the mandate for the JRP as well as the process to be followed.
The Ontario Minister of the Environment signed a harmonization order under section 3.1(2) of the Environmental Assessment Act on August 8, 2011 and made the JRP process equivalent to the requirements under the Environmental Assessment Act.
Joint Review Panel
In August 2011, three panel members were appointed to the JRP by the federal Minister of the Environment, in consultation with the Ontario Minister of the Environment. The panel members were selected based on their knowledge of federal and provincial EA processes, mining activities and the potential environmental effects of the project. The panel was disbanded in 2014 after JRP process was placed on hold at the request of Stillwater. A new JRP has been re-established for the restart of the JRP process.