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Section 20: NI 43-101

The National Instrument (NI) 43-101 is a standard of disclosure developed by the Canadian securities regulatory agencies for mineral projects. Section 20 of a NI 43-101 technical report summarises the available environmental information related to the project; the Qualified Person (QP) then discusses the potential material impacts. Topics required include a summary and discussion of: 1) environmental studies and material impacts; 2) mining waste management, environmental monitoring and water management during and after operations; 3) permit requirements and status, plus bond requirements; 4) potential social or community requirements and plans, plus the status of previous agreements; and 5) the expected mine closure requirements and costs.

These criteria apply to all phases of the project in NI 43-101 reports, from the grass-roots exploration stage through to feasibility and operations. The Section 20 criteria for each stage of project development are outlined as follows:

• Exploration and/or Mineral Resource. Summarise drilling permit requirements and constraints on surface disturbance. Identify any potential environmental hazards or historic liabilities, such as historic shafts, waste rock dumps or tailings.

• Scoping (Preliminary Economic Assessment) Study. Include a conceptual evaluation of the environmental setting, noting potentially significant conditions or permitting constraints. At this stage, baseline studies may be in progress, but an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has not been initiated. Include a conceptual plan for managing and mitigating the identified issues and a description of the permit program requirements, timelines, and expected costs.

• Pre-feasibility Study (PFS). Evaluate project impacts based on results of the baseline studies in the draft EIS or the initial permitting process. Include a detailed permitting schedule, discussing studies to be completed. Describe community outreach efforts, potential community/social impacts and mitigations. Complete a conceptual closure plan and costs, based on geochemistry, geotechnical and hydrologic data. Describe environmental plans and monitoring programs in place.

• Feasibility Study (FS). Typically, the environmental permit acquisition is at an advanced stage and the EIS has been submitted, although not necessarily approved. Summarise the results of scientific and environmental-related engineering studies; plans and monitoring programs to manage water, wastes, air quality; and impacts to the environment and community. Describe the company’s community outreach efforts and sustainable development approach. Include a detailed evaluation of all pertinent environmental and permitting requirements, estimated environmental costs for startup, operations, and closure, and a schedule for obtaining the operating license.

Cori Hoag:

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