Environmental Baseline Surveys of Fortune Minerals Ltd’s NICO Project
Principal Investigator: Kristensen, Kent J (1)
Licence Number: 14718
Organization: Golder Associates Ltd
Licenced Year(s): 2017 2016 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2006 2005 2004 2003
Issued: May 12, 2010
Project Team: Kent Kristensen (Fisheries Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd), Damian Panayi (Wildlife Biologist, Golder Associates Ltd), unspecified Golder staff and local community personnel (aquatics and terrestrial biologists and assistants, Golder Associates Ltd and local community members)

Objective(s): To supplement the existing environmental baseline data for the Fortune Minerals NICO Property to support the environmental assessment process for future mine development.

Project Description: To supplement the existing environmental baseline data for the Fortune Minerals NICO Property to support the environmental assessment process for future mine development. Environmental surveys will be conducted in the area surrounding the project base camp and along the proposed routes of an all-weather access road to Bechoko and a transmission line to Snare hydro. The scope of the studies will include fish and fish habitat, geochemistry and water quality surveys. Site visits by field staff and assistants will be made during the late winter, and summer of 2010.

Equipment for surveys will be limited to standard field measuring and surveying equipment, such as automated water quality monitors, GPS units, motorized inflatable boats, fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. An automated meteorological station will collect weather data.

Fish and Fish Habitat Survey: A mid to late season fish and fish habitat survey will be conducted within the area potentially impacted by the Project footprint and along the proposed access road route and the proposed transmission line. The fish surveys will compliment surveys conducted since 1998. The survey will identify possible impacts from the mine, access road, and transmission line on fish and fish habitat. Various fish collection techniques including set nets and traps will be used to collect specimens. Fish habitat will be surveyed visually, and depth will be measured using a depth sounder and measuring line.

Water and Benthic Sediment: Late winter and summer water and sediment quality surveys will be conducted within the NICO property on water bodies within and downstream of the Project. These surveys will compliment surveys conducted since 1998. The water and sediment surveys will determine the baseline limnology and chemistry of the water bodies. It will be especially important to collect this information following the forest fire in the Project region in 2007. The water samples will consist of roughly 3 litres of surface water collected by hand. Sediment samples will be sub-sampled from a composite of three, 2 cm sediment cores.

Vegetation Survey: A late-season vegetation survey for the Nico project site, the all weather road route, and transmission line is proposed starting for August 2010. The survey will compliment the late-season, vegetation surveys conducted in 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2009. The survey will determine if there are rare plants present. Vegetation communities on the proposed project footprint will be identified and characterized by walking the area and documenting visual observations.

Wildlife Surveys: Aerial and ground-based surveys will be conducted to gather information on wildlife use of the area. Methods have been described in the Wildlife Research Permit application.

Geochemistry Survey: additional geotechnical investigations to be conducted on the NICO Property from July to September 2010 will include a geotechnical investigation:
• around the perimeter of the proposed tailings basin, to better delineate the permafrost temperature profile with depth ( this will add to the Permafrost / Hydrogeology baseline if carried out);
• on the proposed footprints of building foundations (geotechnical / foundation engineering);
• to confirm that certain areas that will be buried by mine rock, tailings, or buildings are not sitting on potential ore.

For previous ARI scientific licenses, copies of the final assessment report(s), the 200 word non-technical summary and a cover letter have been sent to the communities. This practice will continue with the 2010 results.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from May, 2010 to December 31, 2010.