Northerners aren’t ready to cash in on $1B Giant Mine cleanup, oversight board says – by Alex Brockman (CBC News North – April 24, 2019)

The $1-billion cleanup of Giant Mine will be one of the largest economic projects in the Northwest Territories, but northerners aren’t ready to take advantage of it, according to the latest report from the board overseeing the project.

The ongoing project could be a boon to northern contractors and workers, with $36.3 million spent in 2017-18 and $40.3 million in 2016-17 for care and maintenance work, such as tearing down buildings, repairing electrical equipment and keeping the site safe.

But only 20 per cent of the workers on those projects were from the North and only four per cent Indigenous, continuing downward trends from previous years, the Giant Mine Oversight Board reported in its 2018 annual report, released Tuesday.

“It appears that local companies have had some success in getting contracts,” the report states. “However, not enough local residents have been hired for available jobs. None of the parties has provided the training and career development needed to help local residents prepare for job opportunities.”

Giant Mine processed gold and ore for more than 50 years outside Yellowknife. It closed almost two decades ago and sits on about 237,000 tonnes of toxic arsenic trioxide dust. The federal government is responsible for its cleanup, which is expected to ramp up over the next decade.

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