Heading into public hearing, Nunavut, Agnico Eagle disagree over caribou – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – September 5, 2017)


Final NIRB hearing into Whale Tail gold mine project starts Sept. 19 in Baker Lake

Parties planning to attend the upcoming public session on Agnico Eagle Ltd.‘s Whale Tail gold mine project near Baker Lake have plenty to read and think about between now and the public hearing set for between Sept. 19 and Sept. 22 in Baker Lake before the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

That’s because the mining company submitted a 208-page document to the NIRB Aug. 28, responding to multiple opinions expressed by stakeholders. This document contains detailed responses to comments that the NIRB received from such groups as the Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization, Inuit organizations and the Government of Nunavut about Agnico Eagle’s Whale Tail project.

Despite the heavy use of acronyms and diplomatic jargon like “values” and “appreciates” in the document, it’s likely that big, unresolved issues around caribou will be among topics discussed in Baker Lake. Much of the discussion on caribou in Agnico Eagle’s response is heavily technical.

But the unresolved point between the GN and Agnico Eagle about caribou management is simple: the GN wants the mining company to commit to various measures to protect caribou before the Whale Tail mine opens.

But Agnico Eagle says the GN ‘s proposed terms and conditions are “monitoring specifications” that should be addressed through its Terrestrial Advisory Group.

If needed, that group will adjust the Whale Tail mine’s own Terrestrial Ecosystem Management Plan that deals, among other things, with caribou management.

Agnico Eagle says it, “values the GN’s input and these additional thoughts are appreciated.”

But the mining company doesn’t agree with the GN on several issues including how many caribou must be around for protective measures to kick in.

Agnico Eagle says the Terrestrial Advisory Group should be the body to monitor situations and suggest adaptation—and the company also mentions in several places that the Caribou Strategy Framework from the GN was not even delivered in August as promised.

For the rest of this article: http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674nunavut_agnico_eagle_disagree_about_caribou_management/