I think people are confusing the two bodies here.  The mining commission is an independent body who is ruling whether MNR can legally grant CLFs the easement.  Hypothetically if they rule CLF can have the easement, then CLFs needs to do an EA in order for MNR to grant the easement.  These are two different issues.  Why would CLF do an EA if they don't even have the right to the easement yet, they will wait until the ruling and then if they win do the EA so that MNR can grant the easement.

This is how I read it.  Mining commision is just saying 'yes' or 'no', they aren't granting it, MNR does that.