Social impact assessment for a mining project

Summary

EEM conducted a social impact assessment for a new mining project in the James Bay region of Quebec.

Approach and Solution

EEM conducted a full social impact assessment for a lithium-mining project in the James Bay region of Quebec. The assessment was consistent with provincial government directives as well as Section 22 of the James Bay Northern Quebec Agreement and involved the following elements:
• A full socio-economic baseline assessment of potentially impacted communities.
• A land-use study that involved extensive engagement with members of the local First Nation to understand First Nation hunting, harvesting and other land-use activities.
• A consultation programme including the development of a consultation plan, validation of the plan with local community and First Nation leadership, facilitation of public meetings and thematic focus groups, documentation and analysis of consultation results.
• A social impact assessment identifying the direct, indirect and cumulative project impacts.
• A social management plan including impact mitigation measures and monitoring plans.

Results

The social impact assessment complemented the Environmental Impact Assessment in providing a detailed analysis of potential project impacts to local communities and First Nations and included a detailed strategy to avoid, mitigate, or compensate these impacts as well as a strategy for long-term impact monitoring. The participative approach taken throughout the study also promoted First Nation and community understanding and buy-in to the project and its impact management plan.

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