Based on the Environmental Assessment Report submitted by Galaxy Lithium (Canada) Inc., the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Steven Guilbeault, has determined that the James Bay lithium project’s environmental mitigation measures provide a sustainable path for the project to proceed. The project, which is located about 100 km east of James Bay and the Eastmain Cree Community in Quebec, has been subject to a thorough review process conducted by a Joint Assessment Committee consisting of representatives from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada and the Cree Nation Government.
“This is what a good project is all about,” Guilbeault said. “Critical minerals are one of the keys to building Canada’s low-carbon economy and ensuring economic prosperity for years to come. We can only develop those resources by designing from the outset with strong mitigation measures to protect the environment and working in true partnership with Indigenous Peoples. Our future depends on sustainable projects like this one.”
The James Bay project may now proceed, subject to oversight throughout its lifecycle. In his Decision Statement, the Minister sets out legally-binding conditions Galaxy must comply with throughout the life of the project. These 271 conditions include measures to protect fish and fish habitat, migratory birds and birds at risk, wetlands, woodland caribou, bats at risk, Cree health and the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by the Crees.
For example, to protect the health of the Cree Nations, Galaxy must develop a program to ensure the traditional food source of their communities remains safe for consumption. Galaxy must monitor the quality of meat sourced from local game, including collecting samples and testing at least every five years. The program would be developed in collaboration with the Cree Nations, the Cree Nation Government, the local tallyman (trap line manager) and the Cree Board of Health and Social Services of James Bay.
Galaxy can now proceed with obtaining any other necessary permits and authorizations from federal departments as well as from the Government of Quebec.