Secure North depends on better infrastructure, premiers say – by David Lochead (Nunatsiaq News – May 9, 2024)

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Akeeagok, leaders from Yukon and N.W.T. meet over 4 days in Pond Inlet for Northern Premiers’ Forum

To strengthen sovereignty and security in Canada’s North, the federal government needs to invest in infrastructure that can also benefit northern communities, Premier P.J. Akeeagok said Thursday. “For many years, as northern premiers, we’ve been voicing the importance that Arctic security and sovereignty [means] seeing our communities vibrant,” he said in Iqaluit.

Akeeagok spoke during a press conference with the premiers of Yukon and Northwest Territories, following their annual Northern Premiers’ Forum where their territories’ shared interests are discussed.

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Nunavut operations contribute to ‘record’ quarter for Agnico Eagle – by Jeff Pelletier (Nunatsiaq News – May 2, 2024)

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Strong production at Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Nunavut gold mines played a role in achieving a “record” first quarter this year, the company says. Agnico released its first quarterly financial report for 2024 last week.

CEO Ammar Al-Joundi said in a news release the company is reporting a “second consecutive quarter of record operating margins and record free cash flow.” The company reported an adjusted net income of around US$377.5 million for the first quarter of this year from its mining operations around the world. That’s up from around US$282.3 million the previous quarter.

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Can floating nuclear power plants help solve Northern Canada’s energy woes? – by Matthew McClearn (Globe and Mail – May 3, 2024)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

Diesel is the only way to keep the lights on in many remote Arctic towns. A new project wants to offer a greener option – but first it has to assuage safety and cost concerns and compete with other renewables

The nuclear industry is seeking to establish a beachhead in Canada’s North – literally – with a proposed floating nuclear power plant to serve remote Indigenous communities.

Westinghouse, a U.S.-based reactor vendor, has partnered with Prodigy Clean Energy, a Montreal-based company, to develop a transportable nuclear power plant. Essentially a barge housing one or more of Westinghouse’s eVinci microreactors, it would be built in a shipyard and moved thousands of kilometres by a heavy-lift carrier to its destination in the Far North. There it could be moored within a protected harbour, or installed on land near the shore.

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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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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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[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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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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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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Is this the right vision for the NWT’s economy? – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 13, 2024)

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It’s been a big week for discussion of the Northwest Territories’ economy. It might be about 15 years overdue.

Economist Graeme Clinton, who lives in Yellowknife, started the week by telling city council an “economic cliff” is coming – and there seems to be no plan.

He was referring to the closure of the NWT’s three active diamond mines, which currently power thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The first of the three to close will do so in just over 18 months’ time. Financially, diamond mining is the most important industry the territory has. There’s nothing on the radar that comes close to matching it for job creation and profit.

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Canada’s top soldier touts renewed Arctic strategy amid China and Russia’s push to deepen ties – by Robert Fife and Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – April 15, 2024)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A sharper focus on the Arctic in Ottawa’s defence policy is a strategic move welcomed by Western allies, Canada’s top soldier says, as Russia and China contest this increasingly pivotal region, where global warming is opening the Northern Sea Route to shipping and military manoeuvres.

General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, acknowledged that the $8.1-billion over all committed by the government to defence spending over the next five years falls short of the NATO spending target of 2 per cent of annual economic output. Still, he says the new money will help a military long neglected by governments of various political stripes.

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Should alarm bells be louder for the NWT’s post-diamonds future? – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 8, 2024)

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“The idea is not to be alarmist, but we also have to face some facts.” The Northwest Territories is about to start losing the diamond mines that drive a huge chunk of its employment and revenue. Yellowknife economist Graeme Clinton doesn’t think the territory and its residents necessarily understand that yet.

“I’m not sure if people get it,” he told Cabin Radio. In an attempt to change that, he has produced a paper – backed by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the mining industry body for the North – and will present some findings to Yellowknife City Council on Monday.

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Canada’s mild winter disrupts key ice road to remote Arctic diamond mines – by Divya Rajagopal (Reuters – March 30, 2024)

https://www.reuters.com/

TORONTO, March 30 (Reuters) – An unusually warm winter in Canada this year has delayed the opening of a 400-kilometer (250-mile) ice road that is rebuilt every year as the main conduit for Rio Tinto, Burgundy Mines, and De Beers to access their diamond mines in the remote Arctic region.

The Winter Road, which serves the region accessible only by air for 10 months of the year, opened with a two-week delay in the middle of February, disrupting movement of goods along the ice road built over 64 frozen lakes.

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