How the Natural Diamond Industry Supports Canada’s Last Frontier – by Grant Mobley (Only Natural Diamonds – November 28, 2022)

Diamond miners in Canada are prioritizing giving back to the community

Jonas Sangris remembers a time before diamonds were discovered in Canada. He was the Chief of the Dene First Nation, an indigenous group in Canada’s far north. It was the early 1990s, and metals mining was the prevalent industry that was soon to disappear, leaving a substantial economic void in the community.

Jonas recalls approaching the community elders at that time and expressing concern for the impending economic issues, to which the elders calmly replied, “don’t worry, something will come up.” A year later, diamonds were discovered. This discovery would transform the Northwest Territories of Canada.

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Lithium exploration near Yellowknife could begin next year – by Sidney Cohen (CBC News North – November 29, 2022)

Li-FT Power Ltd. proposes drilling near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake

Lithium exploration near two Yellowknife-area lakes popular with hikers and paddlers could begin in 2023. On Nov. 23, Vancouver-based Li-FT Power Ltd. announced it had amalgamated with 1361516 B.C. Ltd. to acquire the Yellowknife Lithium Project. The project comprises 13 mineral leases, including properties near Hidden Lake and Bighill Lake.

Li-FT Power’s CEO, Francis MacDonald, says the company aims to begin drilling as soon as it gets its permits and water license, carries out community engagement, and hires drill contractors.

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Ottawa sends clear message on environment and Indigenous rights by rejecting Baffinland’s iron ore expansion plans in Arctic – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – November 17, 2022)

The federal government has blocked Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s plans for a massive production increase in Nunavut, sending a strong message to the mining industry that any future large resource development in the Far North must be offset by sufficient environmental damage mitigation and proper consultation with the Inuit.

Baffinland, based in Oakville, Ont., had hoped to double its production of iron ore at its Baffin Island mine in Nunavut to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes.

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In wake of mine expansion rejection, Baffinland set to head back to communities for talks – by Amy Tucker (CBC News North – November 19, 2022)

‘There has to be that constant dialogue, in order to fully work together in collaboration,’ says Paul Quassa

Baffinland Iron Mines is not giving up hope that it can win over Nunavut communities, along with the hunters and trappers groups. After the company’s proposed mine expansion project was rejected by the federal minister this week, Baffinland’s Paul Quassa says the company will head to communities before Christmas for more talks.

“We’re constantly going to the communities,” said Quassa, a senior advisor with the company and an Iqaluit city councillor. He said it’s all about “having good communications” with people and the hunters and trappers in each of the communities.

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Can you put a price on the impact of Yellowknife’s Giant Mine? – by Sidney Cohen (CBC News North – November 16, 2022)

Quantifying, in dollar terms, the effect of the mine on the economy, environment and people is complicated

Last week, the federal government revealed that cleaning up Yellowknife’s Giant Mine is now projected to cost $4.38 billion instead of $1 billion. This is, by one measure, greater than the mine’s total estimated revenues during its operation.

Quantifying, in dollar terms, the impact of the mine on the local economy, the environment, and the people who live on and use the area’s land and water is complicated, if not impossible.

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Ottawa turns down Baffinland’s iron ore expansion plans in Nunavut – by Naill McGee (Globe and Mail – November 16, 2022)

Ottawa has turned down Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s application to increase its iron ore output in Nunavut, citing environmental concerns, putting an end to a multiyear conflict that sparked a national debate about responsible resource development in Canada.

Oakville, Ont.-based Baffinland had hoped to double its production of iron ore at its Baffin Island mine in Nunavut to 12 million tonnes a year, from six million tonnes.

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Agnico Eagle not doing its part to protect migrating caribou, says Nunavut government (CBC News North – November 8, 2022)

Territorial government asks feds to investigate, says company not meeting obligations at Meadowbank mine

The Nunavut government says Agnico Eagle Mines has reneged on some of its promises to protect migrating caribou near the company’s Meadowbank gold mine complex.

According to the territory’s Environment department, the mining company has failed several times to close roads at the complex when migrating caribou were nearby. That violates the company’s permits to operate and should be investigated, the Government of Nunavut (GN) says.

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Digging for green minerals a priority for the North, says federal minister – by Liny Lamberink (CBC News North – October 17, 2022)

N.W.T. MLA says sentiment amounts to call for deregulation of mining

Speeding up the regulatory process for critical mineral mines in the North is a goal of the federal government, according to Canada’s natural resources minister.

“Critical minerals are essential for us to be able to successfully execute an energy transition,” said Jonathan Wilkinson. If Canada doesn’t mine more critical minerals, he said, it can’t make batteries for electric vehicles needed to reduce emissions from transportation.

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Canada’s ‘tenuous hold’ in Arctic could be challenged by Russia, China, says top soldier – by Murray Brewstar (CBC News Politics – October 18, 2022)

Gen. Wayne Eyre said that while the threat isn’t immediate, it’s out there

Canada’s hold on the outer reaches of its Arctic territory is “tenuous” and will face significant challenges from both Russia and China in the future, the country’s top military commander warned a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

Gen. Wayne Eyre, the chief of the defence staff, told the House of Commons defence committee — which has embarked on a study of the country’s security posture in the region — that the Far North does not face an immediate threat.

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Eerie vision of Far North ghost towns – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – October 7, 2022)

Places that were once filled with life have all but disappeared, leaving behind remnants of homes that are all but forgotten

For this special spooky edition, North of 60 Mining News is revisiting some of the most bizarre and disturbing ghost towns in its northern coverage area. From one of the most haunted places in Alaska to a practically unknown trading post in Nunavut, enjoy this eerie account of places that once thrived but are now all but forgotten with nary the skeleton of infrastructure to prove its existence.

Let us peer into the oftentimes short-lived bastions of civilization that, for numerous reasons, could not stand the test of time and are only a memory of a bygone life.

Alaska: Dyea

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Baffinland gets a green light to continue mining in Nunavut, saving more than 1,000 jobs – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – October 5, 2022)

The federal government approved Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s request for a bigger extraction limit at its mine on Baffin Island, avoiding the firing of more than 1,000 workers who had been told they would lose their jobs this month unless their employer was given permission to ramp up production.

Baffinland, owned by private equity firm Energy and Minerals Group and steel giant ArcelorMittal SA, sent the termination notices at the end of July, putting pressure on regulators to make a decision on its request to increase its extraction limit of iron ore to six million tonnes from the original allowance of 4.2 million tonnes.

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Foot-dragging on Baffinland mine approval emblematic of a government that doesn’t take Northern workers seriously – by Peter MacKay (National Post – October 4, 2022)

The fact that over 1,000 families could have had their main source of income taken away is bad enough, but what makes it worse is that it didn’t seem to even register in Ottawa or the rest of Canada

Nunavut’s biggest contributor to its overall gross domestic product just narrowly missed terminating more than 1,100 of its employees due to one thing: a lack of regulatory approvals.

The company, Baffinland Iron Mines, runs an open pit mining operation on North Baffin Island in the Arctic, which provides jobs to the local Inuit and is a significant contributor to the territory’s economy.

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Feds slammed at Nunavut land use hearing, critics say it favours development over caribou protection – by Jane George (CBC News North – September 28, 2022)

‘These grounds are sacred and need to be respected and protected,’ says Katie Rasmussen

The federal government received pointed criticism for its position on caribou protection under the draft Nunavut Land Use Plan during its presentation Tuesday in Thompson, Man.

Questions from those at the Nunavut Planning Commission hearing saw Spencer Dewar, director of resource management for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, defending the federal government’s position on mineral development, existing rights and conservation under the land use plan.

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Baffinland jobs safe for now – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – September 22, 2022)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has pushed back the date it was to start letting go its Mary River mine employees. The move came Thursday after the Nunavut Impact Review Board issued a positive recommendation on the company’s application for a higher iron ore shipping limit.

The mining company can prevent “potential significant adverse ecosystemic and socioeconomic effects” if it improves adaptive management and monitoring programs, board chairperson Marjorie Kaviq Kaluraq wrote in a letter to federal Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal Thursday.

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[Yellowknife] A city divided – by Rachel Zelniker (CBC News Interactives – September 14, 2022)

In 1992, a labour dispute that would last 18 months tore Yellowknife apart, culminating in an explosion that killed nine miners. The fallout of one of Canada’s largest mass murders still lingers in this northern city.

Today, Yellowknife only tangentially resembles its history as a gold mining town. The city sits atop the Canadian Shield, a large expanse of ancient bedrock, one of the world’s richest areas in terms of its mineral ores.

But a dilapidated mining headframe is one of the last vestiges of the area’s days as a gold mining capital. The city’s biggest gold mine has been closed for decades.

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