Nunavut diamond mine clean-up to proceed this year as planned Nunatsiaq News – January 3, 2017)

INAC says no thanks to bid from junior miner to take over abandoned Jericho mine

The clean up of the old Jericho diamond mine will go ahead without a formal review this year despite a last ditch effort by a B.C.-based company to take over the assets and possibly restart the mine.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board issued a screening report Dec. 22 saying the federal government’s planned remediation and “stabilization” of the abandoned mine, about 260 km southeast of Kugluktuk, can move forward as planned this spring and summer so long as it follows 63 specific terms and conditions.

Those conditions address everything from the creation of the winter road to water use, waste disposal, fuel storage, wildlife disturbances and aircraft restrictions.

The screening report is now in the hands of Carolyn Bennett, the minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, for her to decide whether the project should proceed, but since it’s her department which submitted the proposal to clean up the mine, it’s unlikely she will reject it.

The 41-page report makes reference to a proposal by Vancouver junior mining company Crystal Exploration for INAC to delay spending an estimated $10 million to destroy and relocate assets at the site until Crystal could examine adjacent exploration licenses and devise a plan to use Jericho as a staging and diamond processing area.

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