Nunavut hunters urge Baffinland mine to stop icebreaking, citing narwhal decline (CBC News North – May 11, 2022)

Nunavut hunters and environmental groups say shipping activity from Baffinland’s Mary River mine is having a real and potentially lasting effect on narwhal numbers in the area.They’re calling on the mining company to, again, alter its shipping plans this year as a precaution.

In a letter to Nunavut regulators last week, the Pond Inlet-based Mittimatalik Hunters & Trappers Organization (HTO) says the abundance of narwhal summering in Eclipse Sound has been in steady decline in recent years and that Baffinland is responsible.

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Some in Nunavut community question where money from mining company has gone – by Emma Tranter (CBC News North – April 29, 2022)

Baffinland offering no details on how it spent $42.9 million in Sanirajak, pop. 850

A company that runs the largest mining operation in Nunavut says it has given tens of millions of dollars in contracts to Inuit firms in the hamlet of Sanirajak, but some residents say they don’t know where that money has gone.

An Oct. 18, 2021, memo from Baffinland Iron Mines, which runs the Mary River iron ore mine near Pond Inlet, summarizes community engagement with its neighbours. A section of the memo highlights direct benefits to Sanirajak, a community of about 850 people, including $42.9 million awarded to Inuit firms there since 2018.

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Will the Far North be left out of the critical minerals rush? – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – April 27, 2022)

Global mining news

When Rio Tinto’s Diavik diamond mine closes in 2025, it’s going to put a major dent in the finances of the Northwest Territories. The mine, now 100% owned by Rio Tinto after it acquired Dominion Diamond’s 40% share last year, following Dominion’s filing for insolvency protection in 2020, was Canada’s second diamond mine, with production starting in 2003.

Now, it is the first of the Northwest Territories’ three currently operating diamond mines to be scheduled for closure. Its impact — as an employer of over 1,000 workers and contractors, more than twice that of Gahcho Kué — will also be the biggest.

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Diamond mines in the Northwest Territories are not a girl’s best friend – by Rebecca Hall (The Conversation – April 21, 2022)

Almost three years ago, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released its final report and among its findings, the report identified resource extraction as a site of gender violence.

The relationship between extraction and gender violence has been observed in extractive sites around the globe. And in Canada, this gender violence is shaped by extraction and settler colonial dispossession of Indigenous lands and livelihoods. What is it about extractive projects that creates the conditions for gender violence?

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‘Significant day for the north’: Nechalacho’s first rare minerals shipment leaves Hay River -by Carla Ulrich (CBC News North – April 23, 2022)

The rare-earth concentrate is on its way to Saskatoon before moving on to Norway

Tuesday was an exciting day for Cheetah Resources and its Nechalacho mine. Their first shipment of rare-earth concentrate left Hay River and is making its way to Saskatoon.

Once there, it will be turned into mixed rare earth carbonate and then shipped to Norway for further processing. A groundbreaking day not only for the north but the rest of the country as well. This is the first rare-earth mine in Canada and only the second in North America.

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A fresh look at Muskox nickel in Nunavut – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – April 8, 2022)

SPC Nickel Corp., a new Canadian exploration company, April 5 outlined plans for the 2022 exploration program on its Muskox nickel-copper-platinum group metal property in Nunavut.

Located in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Muskox is a 45,200-hectare (111,700 acres) property that covers prospective geological settings with numerous similarities to many of the world’s largest nickel mining camps.

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‘Wild card’ Yukon prospector will be 1st Black person in Canadian Mining Hall of Fame – by Paul Tukker (CBC Canada North – March 12, 2022)

The late Yukon legend Peter Risby ‘just had so many unbelievable experiences’

Growing up, Tara Risby heard plenty of stories from her dad, the late Yukon prospector Peter Risby. She heard about how Peter, injured in the Korean War, once spent a few months in a Japanese hospital. Then there was the time he went over a cliff in a truck and came away uninjured. Oh, and there was also that helicopter crash that almost killed him and left him with a permanent scar on his cheek.

“We dubbed him ‘the cat with nine lives’ because he just had so many unbelievable experiences,” Tara recalled. “Yeah, he had quite a storied life.” When Peter Risby finally succumbed to cancer a decade ago, he was a local legend among Northern prospectors. Later this year he’ll be entered into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame — becoming the first Black person to be inducted.

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Sabina to construct Goose mill at 4 000 t/d at outset – by Mariaan Webb ( – March 10, 2022)

Precious metals developer Sabina Gold and Silver has announced optimisation to the plan for its Goose mine, at the Back River district in Nunavut. The updated feasibility study of February 2021 contemplated a mill producing 3 000 t/d for the first two years, increasing to 4 000 t/d in year two with a sustaining capital cost for the expansion of about C$17-million.

As part of the updated study, an initial 4 000 t/d mill was considered. However, at the time, the settled tailings density was based on the previous pre-leach thickener test work. This work resulted in a lower Echo openpit tailings capacity and a decision to delay the mill expansion timeline.

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Deadline for Mary River Phase Two expansion extended; lingering environmental concerns remain – by Trevor Wright (Nunavut News – February 14, 2022)

Front Page

On Jan. 31, Baffinland Iron Mines filed its closing statement to the Nunavut Impact Review Board in support of its proposed phase two expansion of the Mary River Mine.

The proposed timeline for the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) to reach its decision and forward findings to the federal minister of Northern Affairs was 45 days from Baffinland’s closing statement being submitted. However, due to the “overwhelming’”quantity of information to digest, the regulatory body concluded an additional 60 days is required.

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Ottawa on the hook for $4-billion tied to abandoned mines’ cleanup in the North – by Kevin Philipupillai (Hill Times – January 20, 2022)

NDP MP Lori Idlout says the Liberals need to hold companies accountable. ‘Our communities can’t continue to be disregarded when the profit is gone and we’re left to clean up the mess that a multi-billion dollar company made.’

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada is responsible for $4-billion in environmental liabilities for mines abandoned by private operators in the territories, according to the federal government’s public accounts for 2020-21. This figure represents the amount required to bring 162 contaminated sites back up to current minimum environmental standards. But in extreme cases the remediation costs may extend into perpetuity.

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North: N.W.T. gold mining project encouraged by Tłı̨chǫ Highway opening – by Herb Mathisen (CBC News North – December 30, 2021)

CEO of Nighthawk Gold project near Wekweètì, N.W.T. calls Tłı̨chǫ Highway a “smart investment”

When the Tłı̨chǫ Highway officially opened on Nov. 30, Fortune Minerals wasn’t the only mining company applauding the new road. Nighthawk Gold is currently advancing its Colomac Gold project, roughly 120 kilometres northeast of Whatì.

The new all-season highway, also called N.W.T. Highway 9, goes about halfway to Colomac. From a turnoff near the community of Whatì, a winter road goes the rest of the way. The seasonal road passes through Nighthawk’s 930-square-kilometre exploration property, before ending in Wekweètì.

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RIO TINTO NEWS RELEASE: First female president appointed for Diavik Diamond Mine (December 16, 2021)

YELLOWKNIFE, Canada – Rio Tinto has appointed Angela Bigg president and chief operating officer of the Diavik Diamond Mine. Angela, previously general manager, Operations at Diavik, will be the first female to lead the mine and its 1,100 employees.

Angela joined the Diavik team in November of 2017 as vice president, Finance. She began her career with Rio Tinto in 2005 and has worked in Mozambique, South Africa and Australia, where she is from. She succeeds Richard Storrie, who has decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

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‘The opportunities are endless’: Tłı̨chǫ Highway opens, marking a new chapter for Whatì, N.W.T. – by John Van Dusen (CBC News North – November 30, 2021)

A fly-in community for most of the year now has all-season road access

The Chief of Whatì, N.W.T., will soon do something he’s never been able to do until today — get in a car and drive to Yellowknife on a road that’s open year-round. “As soon as they remove that barricade, I’ll be on the Whatì highway,” said Alfonz Nitsiza.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, that barricade came down, and the largely fly-in community located about 164 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife is a fly-in community no more. A 97-kilometre, two-lane gravel all-season highway is officially open to the public.

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Creation of ‘New Agnico Eagle’ gets shareholder nod – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 29, 2021)

Agnico Eagle-Kirkland Lake Gold deal to be finalized in early 2022

Shareholders for Agnico Eagle and Kirkland Lake Gold have voted in favour of establishing a Canadian gold mining powerhouse.

Labelled as a “merger of equals,” both companies announced that its respective shareholders approved the combination at special meetings held Nov. 26. The two companies announced the $13.4-billion transaction back on Sept. 28.

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Veteran Northern geologist Gary Vivian has survived planes going down, aggressive bears and hordes of mosquitoes – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – November 25, 2021)

Front Page

Geology has landed Gary Vivian in some extremely remote Northern locations, and a few of those landings had his heart in his throat.

With a career that has spanned more than 40 years, he’s climbed aboard planes and helicopters thousands of times, bound for destinations that many Northerners have never seen. One trip made him fear for his life when the Beaver he was flying in lost engine power due to a frozen fuel line while outside of Rankin Inlet.

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