Last chance to have your say to feds on Sisson Mine proposal

New Brunswickers have one final opportunity to tell the federal government their concerns about the Sisson Mine proposed in the pristine Nashwaak River watershed.

The group of companies behind the mine, the Sisson Partnership, is in the process of applying for permission to dump mining waste into portions of the Nashwaak watershed. The proposed amendments that would give the companies permission to destroy portions of two waterways to construct the mine’s waste tailings dam were published in the Canada Gazette on Saturday, Feb. 16, triggering a 30-day public comment period.

This is the public’s last chance to have their say on the proposed amendments before the federal government makes its decision.

Our team is currently reviewing the amendments to see if any changes were made following the first round of public comments in spring 2018. At that time, more than 1,000 New Brunswickers submitted their concerns about the project using our easy letter-writing tool.

We will be launching a new letter-writing tool to make it easier for New Brunswickers to speak out during this last phase of comments, which ends March 18, 2019. Keep posted to this site for the new letter-writing tool.

In the meantime, you can submit comments on your own by emailing them to Environment Canada at ec.mmer-remm.ec@canada.ca. Learn more about the federal government’s Sisson consultation here.

Below is some background information and recommended links about this risky mining proposal in the heart of the beautiful Nashwaak River watershed.

Background

For generations, families from Napadogan to Stanley, Taymouth to Marysville, and many points in between and beyond, have flocked to the banks of the Nashwaak River and its beautiful tributaries to swim, fish, paddle and — of course — forage for fresh fiddleheads.

This legacy is threatened by a proposal to build a large open-pit mine and tailings waste facility at the headwaters of the pristine watershed.

The tailings dam the Sisson Partnership is proposing to hold the mining waste during and after its 27-year operation — which the partnership’s documents show would be twice the height and eight times the length of the Mactaquac dam — is of the same design as the system which failed at the Mount Polley mine in B.C. in August 2014, devastating the watershed and important sockeye salmon habitat.

Mount Polley tailings dam breach

The project received provincial environmental assessment approval in December 2015, subject to 40 conditions, and federal approval in June 2017. Now the Sisson Partnership, owned by Northcliff Resources and Todd Minerals Ltd., is carrying out the regulatory stage of the project.

The partnership’s proposed amendments to the Metal and Diamond Mining Effluent Regulation Schedule 2 and its Application for Authorization under the Fisheries Act, if approved, would see mining waste dumped into portions of fish-bearing waterways, destroying Sisson Brook and significantly affecting parts of McBean Brook, Bird Brook, Lower Napadogan Brook and an unnamed tributary to the West Branch of Napadogan Brook. This would have an impact on Atlantic salmon, brook trout, the endangered American eel, and on depository brooks.

Recommended links