Canada is ‘missing the mark’ on remediation and reconciliation, says Yellowknives Dene chief – by Liny Lamberink (CBC News North – May 02, 2024)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Environmental watchdog released audit on northern contaminated sites this week

A chief of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation says an auditor’s report about contaminated sites shows Canada is “missing the mark” when it comes to remediation and reconciliation in the North.

It’s one perspective northerners are sharing after the federal environmental watchdog released a report Tuesday that scrutinizes how Ottawa has managed contaminated sites in the North. A Yukon mining analyst has also agreed with its finding that longer-term plans are needed for some of the North’s big, abandoned mines.

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The true cost of critical minerals – by Emilie Cameron, Rosemary Collard & Jessica Dempsey (National Observer – May 2, 2024)

https://www.nationalobserver.com/

The 2024 federal budget bolsters Canada’s ambitions to be a global supplier of critical minerals. Corporate tax incentives and shorter environmental review periods have been added to an earlier commitment of $4 billion in support of mining copper, lithium and other minerals essential to green technologies like e-vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines.

Amid a global scramble to secure critical minerals supply chains, Canada is highlighting its environmentally sustainable approach to extraction, anchored in “respect for Indigenous and treaty rights.” What does all this look like on the ground?

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Underground development at N.W.T.’s Ekati mine needs Tłı̨chǫ gov’t sign-off, says regulatory board (CBC News North – April 30, 2024)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Sable proposal needs Tłı̨chǫ sign-off, says Wek’èezhìı Land and Water Board

If the company that owns the Ekati diamond mine in the N.W.T. wants to proceed with an underground mining project, it has to get sign-off first from the Tłı̨chǫ government, a regulatory board has ruled.

Just north of Ekati’s main camp — and 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, give or take — there’s already an open pit to access kimberlite, called the Sable open pit. An underground development would aim to pull out more of that diamond-containing rock.

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AME applies to intervene in Gitxaala v British Columbia appeal on Mineral Tenure Act – by Amanda Stutt (Mining.com – April 29, 2024)

https://www.mining.com/

The Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) announced Monday it has formally applied for intervener status in the ongoing appeal of Gitxaala Nation v. British Columbia (chief gold commissioner).

In September 2023, a judicial review ruled that the government of British Columbia owes a duty to consult indigenous peoples with asserted rights and title when granting mineral claims. The court recognized that the province could change the manner in which the act is implemented by the chief gold commissioner or change the legislation.

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[Northwest Territories-Diamonds] Ekati submits plan for new underground project – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 29, 2024)

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The NWT’s Ekati diamond mine is asking regulators for permission to turn its Sable open pit into an underground mining operation. Beginning to mine underground at Sable is an important milestone in Ekati owner Burgundy’s attempt to keep the mine running – in some form – until 2040.

Submitting plans for Sable earlier this month, Ekati urged regulators to provide “timely authorization” of the initial work needed to switch to underground mining.

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Experts warn about potential risks of foreign investment in Arctic mining – by Natalie Pressman (CBC News North – April 26, 2024)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

With minimal Canadian investment, mining companies have few options

Some representatives of the federal government and northern mining experts are issuing a warning about the risk of foreign investment in Arctic mining.

During a panel at the Nunavut Mining Symposium Thursday, representatives from the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), the RCMP and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) discussed foreign companies’ interest in Canadian northern mining, and what that could mean for Arctic security.

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Agnico’s Nunavut mines start 2024 strong – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – April 26, 2024)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

For Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., the remote but highly mineralized territory of Nunavut offers high rewards, as long as the high risks that come with building and operating mines in Canada’s remote North are managed.

Given the nearly 900,000-ounce-of-gold-per-year pace of production at its Meliadine and Amaruq mines so far this year, coupled with new gold discoveries that bode well for its Hope Bay mine project, Agnico has a grasp on what it takes to reap the rewards and mitigate the risks associated with mining in Nunavut.

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UN-led panel aims to tackle abuses linked to mining for ‘critical minerals’ – by Fiona Harvey (The Guardian – April 26, 2024)

https://www.theguardian.com/

A UN-led panel of nearly 100 countries is to draw up new guidelines to prevent some of the environmental damage and human rights abuses associated with mining for “critical minerals”.

Mining for some of the key raw materials used in low-carbon technology, such as solar panels and electric vehicles, has been associated with human rights abuses, child labour and violence, as well as grave environmental damage.

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Ring of Fire road talks still in ‘early stages’ despite premier’s hints: Aroland chief – by Jack Hauen (The Trillium – April 29, 2024)

https://www.thetrillium.ca/

Chief Sonny Gagnon said he hopes to get a deal done in his two-year term, which began in November

While he’s “optimistic” about getting a deal done at some point in his two-year term, Aroland First Nation Chief Sonny Gagnon said the first part of the road to the Ring of Fire isn’t as close as the premier is making it out to be.

“We had great conversations with Aroland, the Chief of Aroland. We’re about that far away from signing a deal to get the first 80 kilometres of road,” Ford said last week, nearly pinching together his thumb and index finger.

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Northern leaders to build Arctic that lasts – by A. J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – April 25, 2024)

https://www.miningnewsnorth.com/

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai discuss the roles they can play to uplift northern neighbor jurisdictions.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: With an air of joviality and high rapport, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai participated in a plenary discussion hosted during the 2024 Arctic Encounter Symposium to converse on the potential for closer partnerships and improving the cross-border relationship that has existed between northern neighbors Alaska and Yukon for decades.

Held at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage, the 2024 Arctic Encounter Symposium celebrated not only the rich and diverse cultures throughout the northern hemisphere but also its 10th anniversary as the largest Arctic-focused conference in the United States.

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Northern Ontario remains idled in the electric vehicle revolution – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 25, 2024)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

PM and premier talk up critical minerals at Honda plant expansion, but funding support for Northern mining and processing projects slow to roll out

The mining of critical minerals is essential to Canada’s growth in the electric vehicle sector, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford on the occasion of a “historic” and “generational” $15-billion investment by Honda Motor Co. in southern Ontario.

In formulating a strategy to establish secure a “start-to-finish” battery chain ecosystem, Trudeau said on April 25 that Canada has the abundant critical mineral supply that the rest of the world wants, the available skilled talent, and advanced manufacturing capacity to build the innovative economy of the future.

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Baffinland hopes railroad to Steensby is built in next few years – by Jeff Pelletier Nunatsiaq News – April 24, 2024)

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Application to temporarily continue increased iron ore shipments from Milne Inlet submitted to Nunavut Impact Review Board

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is applying to continue exporting six million tonnes of iron ore from Mary River Mine through Milne Inlet, its northern marine shipping corridor, until 2030 or its railroad to Steensby Inlet is built.

Megan Lord-Hoyle, the company’s vice-president of sustainable development, shared the news Wednesday during a presentation at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit. The company previously applied to ship 12 million tonnes of ore through Milne Inlet, but the federal government shot that plan down in 2022.

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Inuit leaders talk impact of mining at Iqaluit gathering – by David Lochead (Nunatsiaq News – April 2024)

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Nunavut Mining Symposium runs until Thursday; trade show open to the public on final day

Leaders from the three regional Inuit organizations in Nunavut came together Tuesday to discuss mining and its impact on the territory. The session was part of the annual Nunavut Mining Symposium, which opened April 22 and runs until April 25 at the Aqsarniit hotel in Iqaluit.

The panel, moderated by former Nunavut senator Dennis Patterson, included Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. vice-president Paul Irngaut, Qikiqtani Inuit Association president Olayuk Akesuk and Kivalliq Inuit Association chief operating officer Gabe Karlik.

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Pre-election budget goodie to fund Berens River bridge and road – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – April 22, 2024)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Infrastructure project would bring permanent road to Indigenous communities and connect lithium deposits to markets

Ottawa appears willing to put some significant funding dollars behind the long-overdue Berens River bridge and road project in northwestern Ontario.

Yet it still remains a mystery on how much is being allocated to this key piece of Indigenous-led infrastructure project that will link seven remote communities to the provincial highway system for the first time and allow a lithium mine development company to connect to the marketplace.

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Growing demand for minerals sparks Indigenous outcry over ‘business as usual’ mining practices – by Fabiano Maisonnave (Associated Press – April 18, 2024)

https://apnews.com/

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Indigenous representatives from 35 countries issued a declaration Thursday criticizing the fact that they are too rarely consulted about mining that takes place on or near their lands, an issue that has become more acute with increased demand for minerals needed in the transition to a cleaner energy system.

“We recognize and support the need to end fossil fuel reliance and shift to renewable energy as critical in addressing the climate crisis,” the statement read. “However, the current trajectory of the energy transition fails to meet the criteria of justice, social equity, and environmental sustainability, particularly from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and well-being.”

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