Doris North project breezes through regulatory hearings for expanded mine project
CAMBRIDGE BAY — In early 2017, Nunavut may welcome its second operating gold mine. But TMAC Resources Inc. still needs to learn if Nunavut regulators will allow it to operate an expanded Doris North gold project at Hope Bay over six years instead of two.
The company expects to receive a decision from the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Water Board on the project certificate amendment by the end of May. “We don’t presume they will approve the amendment,” said Alex Buchan, TMAC’s director of community relations, after Nunavut Impact Review Board hearings held April 12 to April 14 in Cambridge Bay.
But, judging from the comments made during the hearings, there was little serious criticism of TMAC’s plans, with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association supporting the larger and longer-term gold mine project, located roughly 90 kilometres south of the western Nunavut town of Cambridge Bay on Inuit-owned land.
The mine will be worth millions to the KIA, if TMAC’s bigger plans progress: The KIA will receive one per cent of the value of all gold produced at Hope Bay, estimated at $960 million over 10 years, through what’s called a “net smelter royalty” — or about $69.5 million over six years, according to information presented at the hearings.
The KIA will also receive $1 million a year to offset land management, environment permitting and the implementation of the Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement. If regulators approve the project certificate amendments, the Doris North mine will also see $61.8 million in jobs and contacts over six years.
As for the onsite mine jobs, 344 by 2018, TMAC will try to fill these locally, Buchan said: Priority will be given to Kitikmeot Inuit, then to Inuit from other regions, then to all other residents of the Kitkmeot region.
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