Canadian Zinc Corporation ("the Company" or "Canadian Zinc") is pleased to announce that the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board ("Water Board"), has issued a Land Use Permit for the establishment and operation of the winter road that will service an operating Prairie Creek Mine.
Land Use Permit MV2012F007 ("LUP") has been issued for a period of five years commencing January 10, 2013, and permits the construction, maintenance, operation and use of the winter road connecting the Prairie Creek Mine to the Liard Highway. This permit allows the outbound transportation of the zinc and lead concentrates to be produced at the mine and the inbound transportation of fuel and other supplies during the actual operation of the Prairie Creek Mine. The newly issued road permit incorporates realignment of the original route which will improve access and further reduce potential environmental impact.
At the same time the Water Board also issued a Type "B" Water Licence (MV2012L1-0005), valid for a period of seven years commencing January 10, 2013, which permits the limited use of water and disposal of waste for road construction, maintenance, and operational activities.
This Land Use Permit and Water Licence apply to the portion of the winter road which is under the jurisdiction of the Water Board (Crown Land); in particular, 17 kilometres of road from the mine site to the point where the road enters Nahanni National Park Reserve and 80 kilometres of road from the eastern boundary of the Park to the Liard Highway.
Road Permitting Background
Canadian Zinc currently holds a valid Land Use Permit (LUP MV2003F0008) and a Type "B" Water Licence for the original winter road route, both on Crown land and within the Nahanni National Park Reserve ("NNPR"), for the purpose of rehabilitation, site clean-up and supply and which may be utilized to support the on-going exploration and development of the Prairie Creek project.
The newly granted permits upgrade the use and permitted activities in support of the actual operation of the Prairie Creek Mine. This will enable commencement of initial construction work on the road prior to the finalization and issue of the main mine operating permits and Class "A" Water Licence, which are currently in the final permitting stages.
The winter road was included in the previous environmental assessment conducted by the Mackenzie Valley Review Board which concluded December 8, 2011 and included all physical works and activities associated with the access road as part of the scope of development of the environmental assessment.
During the course of the Environmental Assessment the Review Board considered alterations and realignments to the road proposed by the Company, at the request of Nahanni Butte Dene Band and Parks Canada that was to further improve the road and reduce potential environmental impact. The Review Board in its Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision on December 8, 2011, accepted that construction and use of the winter access road will not have significant adverse impacts on the land, the water or wildlife along its route provided the Company's commitments are implemented.
Parks Canada Land Use Permits
Land use permits and water licences relating to the road that connects the Prairie Creek Mine to the Liard Highway, part of which passes over Crown land and part through the expanded NNPR, are multi-jurisdictional and the Company applied to both the Water Board and Parks Canada for these road related permits and licences.
In June 2009, Parks Canada issued Land Use Permit 2009 L02 for a period of three years to April 10, 2012 for the use of that portion of the road within NNPR and also issued Water Licence 2009 - W02 for a period to March 19, 2013 for the rehabilitation of that portion of the road within the Park. In July 2012 Parks Canada extended the original LUP L02 for the winter road for an additional term of two years to April 2014.
In February 2012, the Company and Parks Canada signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding regarding the operation and development of the Prairie Creek Mine and the management of NNPR in which Parks Canada recognizes and respects the right of Canadian Zinc to develop the Prairie Creek Mine.
The Company has made separate applications to Parks Canada for a new LUP and water licence for the realigned route of the road within the Park and this permitting process is now in the advanced stages.
Further Information on Permitting
Further detailed information on all regulatory correspondence, documents and permits are posted on the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board website public registry at: http://www.mvlwb.ca/mv/registry.aspx under the various CZN permit application numbers.