Jackpine Mine Expansion and Pierre River Mine Projects Public Consultation on Revised Joint Review Panel Agreements

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) today released for public comment two agreements with Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) for the environmental assessment of two oil sands projects in northern Alberta.

The public is invited to comment on a revised draft agreement to establish a joint panel for review of the Pierre River Mine project.  In addition public comment is being sought on revisions to the existing joint panel agreement for the review of the Jackpine Mine Expansion project.

The proposed revisions to both project agreements allow for the possibility of the Jackpine Mine Review Panel to also review the Pierre River Mine project.  The Minister of the Environment will make the final determination for the federal government on the panel establishment for the Pierre River Mine project and decide whether the agreement for the Jackpine Mine project will be modified to allow the proposed changes.

The Minister established the Joint Review Panel for the Jackpine Mine project and issued the final joint panel agreement in September 2011, following a public consultation on the draft agreements for both projects.  The possibility of appointing the same panel to review the two projects was already under consideration at that time, and a single, integrated Environmental Impact Statement has been prepared by the proponent for the two projects .The agreements establish the mandate and authority of the joint panel, its composition and the procedures and timelines for the review processes.

The public is invited to submit written comments on the revised agreements in either official language to the Agency by February 24, 2012. After taking public comments into consideration, the agreements will be finalized and made public.

The revised agreements as well as additional information on the projects are available on the Agency's Web site at www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry under reference # 10-05-59539 for Pierre River Mine and # 10-05-59540 for Jackpine Mine.

To submit comments, obtain a copy of the revised draft agreements or to register as an interested party and be kept informed of the panel review activities, contact:

Kurt Saunders, Associate Director
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 613- 948-1351 or 1-866-582-1884 / Fax: 613-957-0941
kurt.saunders@ceaa-acee.gc.ca

The Pierre River Mine Project proposed by Shell Canada includes the construction, operation and reclamation of an oil sands surface mine and bitumen extraction facilities.  The proposed mining project would be located approximately 90 km north of Fort McMurray on the west side of the Athabasca River. The proposed development includes an open-pit mine, ore handling facility, bitumen extraction facilities, tailings processing facilities, support infrastructure, water and tailings management plans and the construction of a bridge across the Athabasca River. The project is designed to produce a total of 200 000 barrels of bitumen per day.

Shell Canada is proposing to expand the Jackpine Mine project. The expansion would include additional mining areas and associated processing facilities, utilities and infrastructure. The project would be located about 70 km north of Fort McMurray on the east side of the Athabasca River. The expansion project would increase bitumen production by 100 000 barrels per day, bringing production at the mine to 300 000 barrels per day.

SOURCE Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

For further information:

Media may contact:
Lucille Jamault
Manager, Communications
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
Tel.: 613-957-0434


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