Gold mining company options Inuk prospector’s find, Inuit organization may prohibit development – by Sara Frizell (CBC News North – April 25, 2018)

John Tugak found gold not too far north of his home town of Arviat, Nunavut, while prospecting land he had rights to. He only began prospecting in 2013, but last year Agnico Eagle Mines Inc., an international mining company with eight mines including two in Canada, optioned the property.

It was the first time the company had partnered with an Inuk prospector. It would mean royalties for Tugak — maybe even riches — if the deposit were to be developed and mined.

But the notable agreement may come to nothing in the face of a land-use moratorium imposed by the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA).

The KIA manages Inuit-owned lands in the region, stemming from the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The umbrella Inuit organization NTI says it takes its lead in issuing leases from its regional partners.

Tugak and Agnico Eagle were hoping to set up a mineral exploration camp and drill on the site this summer, but Tugak’s lease on the property expires at the end of 2018 and, as he understands it, the association will not renew the lease.

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