Cooperation Plan
Crawford Nickel Project

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Document Reference Number: 94

March 31, 2023

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

On January 5, 2023, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada (the Agency) announced that an impact assessment is required for the Crawford Nickel Project (the Project), pursuant to subsection 16(1) of Canada's Impact Assessment Act.

Aspects of the Project are also subject to various class environmental assessments (Class EAs) pursuant to Ontario's Environmental Assessment Act, and to various provincial permitting and approval requirements that include an assessment of environmental effects.

This Plan was developed by the Agency with input from Ontario ministries and relevant organizationsFootnote 1 to set out intentions and plans for a cooperative assessment process for the Project. The provincial ministries and organizations participating in the impact assessment are included in the Appendix and are herein referred to as "participating ministries".

This Plan is intended to be flexible and does not preclude the Agency and participating ministries from modifying the cooperative approach described in this Plan in order to accommodate changes that may occur during the assessment process.

2. Project description

Canada Nickel Company (the proponent) is proposing the construction, operation, decommissioning and abandonment of an open-pit nickel-cobalt mine and on-site metal mill, located 43 kilometres north of Timmins, Ontario. As proposed, the Project would have a mine ore production capacity of 275,000 tonnes per day and a mill ore input capacity of 120,000 tonnes per day. The Project would operate for about 43 years.

The Project includes a mine site with mining infrastructure, relocation of provincial Highway 655 and an existing 500 kilovolt transmission line, a new 20 kilometre rail spur, and one or more effluent discharge pipes.

For more information on the impact assessment of the Crawford Nickel Project or to view the information and comments received, visit the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry (the Public Registry) at

3. Approach to cooperation

Through cooperation, the Agency and participating ministries will strive to increase efficiency and certainty for all participants, including the proponent, the public, and Indigenous communities, by sharing information and expertise, coordinating activities, and harmonizing timelines where possible.

The following table outlines potential opportunities for cooperation, subject to proponent timelines for planning and design decisions, and sequencing of approvals.

Table 1 – Potential opportunities for cooperation on the assessment of effects

Project Activity

Responsible Entity

Regulatory MechanismFootnote 2

Potential Opportunities for Cooperation

Highway 655 relocation

The proponent

Class EA for Provincial Transportation Facilities

  • Information sharing
  • Coordinated technical reports, government review, comment period

500 kilovolt transmission line relocation

Hydro One Networks Incorporated

Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities

Information sharing

Coordinated technical reports, government review, comment period

Resource stewardship and facility development projects

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects

  • Information sharing
  • Sequencing to streamline Class EA
    Coordinated technical reports, government review, comment period

Crown lease for mining

Ontario Ministry of Mines

Class EA for Activities of Ministry of Mines

Information sharing

Emissions, resource use, and other activities

  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry


  • Environmental compliance approvals
  • Overall benefit permit for species at risk
  • Permit to take water
  • Crown lease
  • Work permit
  • Approvals for dams and other works
  • Information sharing
  • Joint technical working groups
  • Consultation on federal conditions

Transportation routes

Ontario Ministry of Transportation,
Ontario Northland Transportation Commission

  • Transfer of ownership and operation of highway
  • Transfer of ownership and operation of rail spur

Information sharing

Mine closure and rehabilitation

Ontario Ministry of Mines

Mine Closure Plan

Information sharing

4. Gathering and review of proponent information

The following table identifies the factors to be considered by both the Agency and participating ministries where there exist opportunities for cooperation to facilitate the exchange of information and expert advice and reduce duplication.

Table 2 – Preliminary list of common factors reviewed by the Agency and participating ministries

Common Factors related to the Assessment

Common Areas of Federal-Provincial Review

Changes to the natural and physical environment

  • Atmospheric, acoustic and visual environment
  • Riparian, wetland and terrestrial environment
  • Groundwater and surface water
  • Fish and fish habitat
  • Terrestrial wildlife and habitat
  • Species at risk

Changes to health, social and economic conditions

  • Land, water and resource use for recreation, tourism and commercial operations
  • Navigation
  • Cultural heritage resources (non-Indigenous)
  • Public health and safety
  • Highway emissions, traffic control and access
  • Sustainable development of critical minerals
  • Businesses, employment and service demands

Impacts on Indigenous peoples and the exercise of rights

  • Physical and cultural heritage
  • Traditional use of lands and resources
  • Structures/sites/things of significance
  • Aboriginal and treaty rights

Other effects

Effects of the environment on the Project, including climate change resiliency

The Agency has prepared Tailored Impact Statement Guidelines that set out the information required of the proponent in the Impact Statement. General information requirements for the provincial Class EAs and provincial permitting and approvals are available at (see Table 1 of this document).

The Agency and participating ministries may participate in technical working groups with the proponent, Indigenous communities, federal expert departments, and community groups, as appropriate.

5. Timelines and time management

The Agency and participating ministries have agreed to undertake their respective assessment processes in a cooperative manner such that government review and comment period on the Impact Statement and any Environmental Study Reports for Class EAs are coordinated, where possible.

Participating ministries are also invited to align government review and engagement on permits and approvals with the Agency's comment period on the draft Impact Assessment Report and potential conditions, where suitable.

This Plan recognizes that the alignment of respective timelines is subject to the legislative obligations prescribed in the Impact Assessment Act and relevant provincial legislation, as well as the completeness of any information submitted by the proponent.

The Agency will provide the participating ministries listed in Table A1 in the Appendix with advanced notices of opportunities for cooperation. The Agency will also ensure that timely and effective communication occurs throughout the impact assessment process.

6. Sharing of information

The Agency and participating ministries will share, as appropriate, the following information obtained during the assessment of the Project on matters identified in Table 2:

  • expert advice received;
  • existing studies and information;
  • comments received through engagement and consultation;
  • information received from the proponent (e.g. technical submissions, responses to deficiency reports); and
  • provincial regulatory, policy or other instruments and measures that could manage potential adverse effects of the Project (i.e. complementary measures), and regulatory decision criteria.

The Agency and participating ministries will respect requirements related to privacy and protection, including protection of Indigenous knowledge, when sharing or publicly posting information.

7. Public participation

The Agency and participating ministries plan to have a coordinated comment period on the proponent's Impact Statement and any Environmental Study Reports for Class EAs, if possible.

For further information on public participation and engagement activities, please see the Project's Public Participation Plan.

8. Indigenous consultation and engagement

The Agency will lead Crown Consultation on behalf of the Government of Canada for this federal impact assessment, while the proponent and participating ministries will be responsible for Crown consultation for provincial decisions.

For further information on the Agency's Indigenous Consultation and Engagement activities, please see the Project's Indigenous Engagement and Partnership Plan.

9. Decision statement

The Agency will consult with participating ministries regarding proposed conditions related to decisions and any relevant complementary measures, to facilitate consistency and improve regulatory efficiencies.

10. Interpretation

This Plan is not a legal document and does not change any existing federal, provincial, or municipal legislative or regulatory jurisdiction, right, power, privilege, prerogative or immunity by virtue, nor does it create any new legal powers, duties or legally binding obligations.

11. Contact information

The Agency office designated for administering the impact assessment of the Project is:

Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, Ontario Regional Office

Appendix 1

Table A1. Ontario Ministries and Organizations Participating in the Federal Impact Assessment

Provincial Ministry

Relevant Areas of Expertise

Contact Information

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Air quality, noise impacts, groundwater and surface water, drinking water sources, fish consumption, species at risk, environmental spills (land and surface water), alternatives assessment, acid rock drainage/metal leaching, mine waste management, Aboriginal and treaty rights

Environmental Approvals Branch
135 St Clair Ave W
Toronto ON M4V 1P5
Tel.: (705) 507-5136

Greg Ault, Manager
Tel: (705) 492-4673
5520 Hwy 101 E, PO Bag 3080
South Porcupine, ON P0N 1H0

Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism

Cultural heritage resources which includes archaeological resources, built heritage resources, and cultural heritage landscapes

Karla Barboza, Team Lead - Heritage
Tel.: (416) 660-1027
400 University Avenue, 5th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 2R9

Joseph Harvey, Heritage Planner
Tel.: (613) 242-3743

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Tourism, including resource-based tourism

James Antler, Policy Advisor
Tel.: (705) 493-0880
447 McKeown Avenue
North Bay ON P1B 9S9

Ministry of Mines

Land restoration and progressive rehabilitation, mine feasibility, job stimulation, sustainable development, of critical minerals

Michael Young, Mineral Exploration & Development Consultant
Tel: (705) 465-4008
PO Box 3060
E Wing, 5520 Hwy 101 E
South Porcupine, ON P0N 1H0

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Outdoor recreation and resource use, impacts on fishing, outdoor recreation and tourism, hunting, trapping, forestry, wildlife, provincially significant wetlands

Cory Wiseman, District Supervisor
Tel: (705) 271-7417
4-2 Hwy 11 S
Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0

Ministry of Transportation

Transportation planning and infrastructure, road safety, cycling, walking, vehicles

Andrew Healy, Head, Environmental
Tel: (705) 497-5458
447 McKeown Ave
North Bay, ON P1B 9S9

Laurel Muldoon, Corridor Management Senior Project Manager (Acting)
Tel: (705) 491-0757

Hydro One Networks Incorporated

Owns and operates provincial electrical transmission infrastructure in the Timmins region

Kimberly Miller-Bautista, Environmental Planner
Tel: (416) 357-0542
483 Bay St
Toronto, ON M5G 1P5

Ontario Northland Transportation Commission

Operates rail freight and passenger services in northern Ontario

Paul André Lajeunesse, Director Rail Infrastructure
555 Oak Street East
North Bay, Ontario P1B 8L3

Appendix 2

Table A2. Ontario Ministry Regulatory Mechanism References

Regulatory Mechanism


Class EA for Provincial Transportation Facilities

Class EA for Minor Transmission Facilities

Class EA for Resource Stewardship and Facility Development Projects

Class EA for Activities of the Ministry of Mines under the Mining Act

Environmental Compliance Approval for Air, Noise and Sewage works under the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act

Overall Benefit Permit for species at risk under the Endangered Species Act

Permit to Take Water under the Ontario Water Resources Act

Crown land dispositions under the Public Lands Act

Work permits for construction of facilities on Crown land under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act and Public Lands Act

Approvals for dams and other works under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act

Mine Closure Plan under the Mining Act

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