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Partnership Between Impala Canada and Fort William First Nation Complete First Phase of Mine Closure

Apr 15, 2023

The first phase of closure requirements of the Shebandowan West section of the Shebandowan mining exploration site has been completed through a partnership between Impala Canada and Fort William First Nation.

The closing of the mining exploration site aims to restore it to its original condition or to an acceptable alternative. This involves the removal of all mining/milling related infrastructure, closing off any mine openings such as shafts, raises or portals, and ensuring the stability of any remaining engineering structures.

The Shebandowan West property, which was the site for an advanced exploration project through a joint venture between Vale Canada Limited and Impala Canada, is separate from the Shebandowan mine, which operated from 1972-1998 producing a nickel concentrate.

Emily Robb, senior communications manager with Impala Canada, told The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal that closing a mine and remediating the land responsibly is not only a government- regulated activity, but “is an essential part of a mine’s life cycle, and a key element to responsible resource extraction.”

“Now that our active exploration work in this geography is complete, Impala Canada is required to complete closure activities as part of our mining permits,” she said. “Impala Canada is responsible for the full closure costs of the Shebandowan West property. Our investment to date has been $850,000 and we will continue to update on this as the phases progress.”

Both the Shebandowan mine and the Shebandowan West exploration property are located on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation. This fall, a ceremony to bless the land will be led by Fort William First Nation and will mark the final phase of the closure of Shebandowan West.

The second phase, expected to begin this spring, includes the restoration of all soil cover materials, vegetation, and water features to pre-mining or baseline conditions. Any current treatment of contact waters must also be continued.

“Partnering with (Fort William First Nation) on these efforts has allowed us to lean on their strong skill sets and unique knowledge of the land to do so in a way that supports the capacity of (Fort William First Nation) and aligns with our values: respect, care and deliver,” Robb said.

Robb says the First Nation will select seed mixtures and tree seedlings that will be implemented to restore the site to its natural environment and will lead the entire revegetation and reseeding process of the Shebandowan West exploration site.

Image Shebandowan Map 3

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