Mine monitoring in Nunavut under the microscope next month – by Lisa Gregoire (Nunatsiaq News – March 28, 2017)


Impact review board to host a session with stakeholders at mining symposium

A lot of people with money and power or a desire for those will descend on Iqaluit from April 3 to April 6 for the annual Nunavut Mining Symposium and among all the many sessions planned this year is a unique one hosted by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

If you’re a regular Nunatsiaq News reader, you know we write a lot about the NIRB—a board devoted to vetting commercial, government and scientific projects proposed in the Nunavut Settlement Area for their potential impact on people, animals and the land. This year’s mining symposium in the territory’s capital is occurring just as the NIRB considers new or updated monitoring frameworks for four of its five existing project certificates.

So how does mine monitoring work in Nunavut? Are mining companies able to meet their requirements? Are those requirements realistic and sustainable? Are government agencies getting what they need to monitor impacts on fish, migratory birds and soil, for instance? Does everybody understand what everybody else is doing so they can be good environmental stewards?

After 20 years of assessing and monitoring projects in Nunavut, the NIRB wants to know what’s working and what’s not and what better time to do that than at the mining symposium, attended by mining executives, government officials and other stakeholders from around the country.

“That’s really the intent of environmental assessment, is to grow in that understanding of impacts and you do that by having monitoring in the North feed back into further impact assessments,” said Tara Arko, the NIRB’s director of technical services and moderator of the upcoming mining symposium session.

“Now that we have sufficient experience in Nunavut to understand how the monitoring framework works between all the agencies, we’re trying to solicit more active feedback.”

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674mine_monitoring_in_nunavut_under_the_microscope_next_month/