Esker Site is located in the area known as the James Bay and Hudson Bay Lowlands. This area is home to many wildlife species, including caribou.
There are two subspecies in the area near Esker during the winter — the boreal caribou (or woodland caribou), and the migratory caribou. Because the boreal caribou are considered a threatened species by the Ontario and Federal governments, we undertake special measures during exploration to avoid disturbing the animals or impacting their habitat.
Ring of Fire Metals has a rigorous plan in place (required by the Provincial Endangered Species Act) to protect caribou. One part of this plan is to create caribou awareness at Esker. Our team members go through a species at risk standard operating procedure (SOP), which is a step-by-step procedure explaining what to do if they encounter caribou while out in the field. In the SOP, it details what to do to minimize the disturbance of caribou, as well as minimizing habitat changes and fragmentation.
When workers come across caribou, they are not to feed or follow the caribou. Fieldwork is to be stopped to give the animals space and let them move through. Workers are to document any caribou observations and report them to their supervisor, which is then reported to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. This information helps the Ministry to be aware of where caribou are moving, which adds value to their studies about the species.