NWT, Nunavut promote road corridor from Yellowknife to the Arctic Ocean – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 6, 2017)


Road-port combination could unlock billions in mineral revenues, backers say

Within 15 years, you may be able to drive from the Northwest Territories capital of Yellowknife right up to Grays Bay on western Nunavut’s Arctic coast.

The road would run 550 kilometres from Yellowknife to the NWT-Nunavut boundary, where it would link up with a 350-km road that would terminate at a deep water port on Coronation Gulf, close to Kugluktuk to the west and Cambridge Bay to the north.

Along the way to the port, there would be spur roads leading off to mines. That’s the vision promoted by two speakers April 5 at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. The GNWT has already looked at three road options for its part of the road, which it calls the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor, using geological and mineral data to guide the road’s path.

The goal of this exercise was to see which option for an all-season road north would be the most likely to succeed by being able to “stimulate new mineral growth,” said Deborah Archibald, the GNWT’s assistant deputy minister of mineral and petroleum resources.

The option now favoured by the GNWT would lead from Yellowknife through the Tli Cho region up into the Great Slave belt—from Tibbett Lake to Lockhart Lake, then from Lockhart Lake to Lac de Gras, then from Lac de Gras up to the Nunavut boundary.

After the project enters an environmental review, the road could be built over a five-to-10 year period, likely during the winter, much like the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk road, Archibald said.

From the NWT border with Nunavut, the road would then link to the Jericho mine and, from there, follow a 233-km road to the Grays Bay port, a project on which the Government of Nunavut and the Kitikmeot have teamed up.

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