Rock Lake Mine South rehabilitation project
Learn about the environmental assessment process for the rehabilitation of mine hazards at the Rock Lake Mine.
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Statement of completion
The Rock Lake Mine (AMIS #07781) is a former gold, silver and copper mine that operated from 1899 to 1903. The mine is located off Highway 638, in the Township of Plummer Additional, approximately 16 kilometres north of Bruce Mines, Ontario. The mine property can be divided into a northern area accessed by a private trail and a southern area accessed by a residential driveway.
The purpose of the project is to rehabilitate the mine hazards located in the southern portion of the Rock Lake Mine property (“Rock Lake Mine South”). The rehabilitation work will focus on an adit feature that provides access to the underground workings and is easily accessible by the public. The adit is accessed by a residential driveway off Highway 638, with limited access improvements needed to facilitate the work. The project boundary is defined by the access road and the area east of the adit.
All other hazards associated with the Rock Lake Mine are primarily situated in the northern portion of the property and will be assessed as part of a separate Class Environmental Assessment.
It is assumed that the underground workings provide habitat to bat species at risk. 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
Township of Plummer Additional
Environmental Registry of Ontario number: 019-7004
Notice of opportunity to provide input on a category B project (2023)
We invite you to comment on the Rock Lake Mine South 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).
We have 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 can be found with the supporting material for this project on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.
You are invited 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 in the southern portion of the abandoned Rock Lake Mine (AMIS #07781). The mine is located in Township of Plummer Additional, approximately 16 kilometres north of Bruce Mines, 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 #019-7004), and additionally referenced 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.
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