Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

Conservationists cheer latest proposal to protect land in Nunavut – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – July 20, 2021)


The Nunavut Planning Commission’s new proposal for what parts of the territory should be protected from industrial activity is getting some early approval from World Wildlife Fund Canada.

That’s because the new draft of a land-use plan for the territory identifies more caribou and walrus calving areas and marks them as off limits year-round.

Specifically, the government uses Inuit traditional knowledge and a study from the Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board to mark calving grounds on Baffin Island, and these areas would be protected for the first time. Continue Reading →

Rare earths are now being mined in Canada – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – July 9, 2021)

On June 28, First Nations mining contractor Nahanni Construction Ltd. dug a scoop of ore from the North T open pit at Vital Metals Ltd.’s Nechalacho project in Northwest Territories that marked a momentous milestone – Canada is now a rare earths-producing nation.

This first REE ore mined at Nechalacho comes just two years after Australia-based Vital came up with a unique plan to take advantage of relatively small but high-grade mineralization coming to the surface at the project to rapidly produce the rare earths widely used in today’s high-tech devices.

North T has 101,000 metric tons of resources averaging 9.01% total rare earth oxides, compared to other global deposits that tend to average around 1% TREO or less. The high-grade North T ore being mined by Nahanni Construction will be further upgraded with an ore sorter delivered to Nechalacho this spring. Continue Reading →

Greenland’s Inuit to use membership of Arctic commerce group to push pro-mining message – by Kevin McGwin (Nunatsiaq News – July 8, 2021)


A group representing Greenland Inuit has joined the Arctic Economic Council separately from its parent organization, as Greenland seeks to address concerns that political opposition to mining radioactive minerals will hobble the development of other mining efforts. The country is hoping to grow its mining sector in hopes that it could supplement its fishing industry as a source of exports.

“Greenland, like other Arctic communities, is in an urgent need for diversifying its economic activities,” said Kuupik Kleist, an ICC-Greenland representative. “We are almost completely dependent on the export of fish, which makes the economy fragile and pushes the limits of resources.”

Founded in 2014, the Arctic Economic Council seeks to promote business opportunities in the region. Continue Reading →

Pioneering explorer, pilot Ron Sheardown – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – June 25, 2021)

Few men and women could attest to having lived with an adventurous spirit and actually having gone and adventured, but this isn’t so for mining and aviation pioneer Ronald Sheardown.

Soon to be inducted into the Alaska Aviation Museum’s Hall of Fame for Pathway and Explorer Pilot this year, Ron has lived a life many could not even dream about.

Born in Bolton, Ontario, in 1936 – a stone’s throw from Toronto – Ron came from a time when aviation was still in its fledgling years, and Man was still mastering the ways to conquer gravity. Continue Reading →

Yellowknife to release draft reconciliation plan – by Emily Blake (Cabin Radio – June 14, 2021)

Indigenous governments and members of the public will soon get to weigh in on the City of Yellowknife’s plans for reconciliation work.

At a meeting on Monday, councillors discussed whether to release the city’s proposed reconciliation framework and action plan for public engagement.

The framework is a high-level document – to be reviewed every three to five years – that will serve as the foundation for how the city will “build respectful relationships and create a more inclusive representation” of Indigenous people.

The action plan, meanwhile, will list concrete actions the city will take to achieve those goals. Councillors appeared supportive of the plans, which were shared with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the North Slave Métis Alliance in February. “I feel like we’re on the right path,” said Councillor Niels Konge. Continue Reading →

Liam Neeson’s ‘The Ice Road’ Netflix Movie: What We Know So Far – by Tigran Asatryan (What’s On – June 7, 2021)

Netflix has made another big purchase at the European Film Market along with Christian Bale’s The Pale Blue Eye and Colin Firth’s Operation Mincemeat. The third film the streamer acquired is The Ice Road, starring Liam Neeson.

The film that Netflix bought for $18M will be distributed by Netflix in the US (other regions’ availability not yet known) from June 2021. The Ice Road was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, writer of Die Hard With a Vengeance, Jumanji and Armageddon.

Hensleigh also wrote and directed 2004 action movie The Punisher that starred Thomas Jane. The Ice Road is produced by Aperture Media (The Trial of Chicago 7, Atomic Blonde), Envision Media Arts (Mr. Church, Death of Me) and Code Entertainment (Kill the Irishman, Drowning Mona). Continue Reading →

How a massive outbreak at Nunavut’s Baffinland mine sent ‘sparks’ of the Delta variant across the country – by Jennifer Yang (Our – June 12, 2021)

On May 2, the Baffinland mine in Nunavut made a troubling announcement: For the first time in the pandemic, COVID-19 was spreading inside its remote northern work camp. What the press release did not say is that at least one worker had tested positive for Delta, a highly transmissible variant never seen before in the territory.

The mine suspended operations, and workers that the company’s contact tracers deemed “low risk” started flying home. But soon after, some of those employees began testing positive — and Nunavut health officials realized the virus had spread further than initially believed.

Today, Baffinland’s Mary River mine is the site of one of Canada’s largest-known outbreaks of Delta, the variant of concern that first emerged in India and is 50 per cent more transmissible than the Alpha variant that fuelled Canada’s third wave. Continue Reading →

Yukon government, creditor take disputes over Wolverine mine to Supreme Court of Canada – by Jackie Hong (CBC News North – June 7, 2021)

The Yukon government and a biotech company that loaned money to the now-bankrupt owner of the Wolverine mine have taken their disputes over who gets what’s left of the mine’s assets to the country’s highest court.

The territorial government, represented by the minister of energy, mines and resources, as well as Welichem Research General Partnership filed separate notices of application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on May 4.

The files were opened on May 27, although the Supreme Court of Canada has yet to decide on whether it will actually hear either case. Continue Reading →

NUNAVUT MINING: De Beers considers carbon-neutral diamond mine near Iqaluit – by Ezra Black (Nunavut News – June 8, 2021)

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De Beers has set an ambitious goal to make the Chidliak Project its first carbon neutral diamond mine. Consequently, the company is looking to build a low-impact operation using renewable energy and cutting-edge technology.

The project is located on the Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island, approximately 200 kilometres south of Pangnirtung and about 120 kilometres from Iqaluit.

Due to the large number of kimberlite pipes – carrot-shaped geologic formations that often contain diamonds – De Beers is looking to design the operation using high-tech mining techniques, according to De Beers spokesperson Terry Kruger. Continue Reading →

Greenland officials say Nunavut mine owner hasn’t fully addressed cross-border impacts – by Kevin McGwin (Nunatsiaq News/Arctic Today – May 27, 2021)


An assessment of the potential impact of increased shipping activity in Baffin Bay stemming from a proposed expansion of the Mary River iron mine in Nunavut has been criticized by Naalakkersuisut, Greenland’s self-rule government, for not fully assessing its concerns.

Because the expanded mining activity would impact other countries, Baffinland, the mine’s operator, is required by international law to compile an assessment of the damage it could cause and grant authorities from the affected countries permission to comment on it.

The Baffinland assessment, together with a series of written exchanges between Greenland authorities and the company’s representatives about its contents was released for public consultation in Greenland on May 18. However, Naalakkersuisut underscored that because Baffinland had declined to take Greenland’s concerns fully into account, the assessment could not be considered to be complete. Continue Reading →

Yukon UNESCO World Heritage bid shifts focus from Gold Rush to colonialism (CBC News North – May 25, 2021)

Three years after withdrawing a bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, a local committee in Dawson City, Yukon, is trying again — this time shifting focus from mining and the Klondike Gold Rush to the experience of colonialism by First Nations.

“Tr’ondëk-Klondike as a site tells an exceptional story that reflects Indigenous peoples’ — Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in peoples’ —experience and adaptation to what we know as the phenomenon of European colonialism,” said Lee Whalen, of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation’s heritage department.

“So under the criteria for World Heritage, we are illustrating a significant stage in human history.” Continue Reading →

This Arctic mine is a warning the world must heed – by Laura Paddison (Wired Magazine – May 26, 2021)

Eric Ootoovak remembers a time when the icy waters north of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic were teeming with narwhals. The mythical-looking sea creatures are woven into the culture of Inuit hunters like Ootoovak, who have caught these marine mammals for millennia, eating their meat, blubber and skin, which are packed with vitamins Inuit rely on to get through the long, dark winters.

“The narwhals used to be abundant, by the thousands, and we don’t see that today,” says Ootoovak, the chair of the Mittimatalik Hunters and Trappers Organization, based in the Inuit hamlet of Pond Inlet on northern Baffin Island.

Things changed when the huge Mary River open pit iron ore mine started operations on Baffin Island in 2014, bringing dust, trucks and ships. Narwhal numbers dropped off, says Ootoovak, along with fish and seals. Continue Reading →

What Pandora’s switch to synthetics means for NWT diamond mines – by Ben Andrews (Cabin Radio – May 13, 2021)

The world’s largest jewellery maker has sparked a debate about ethical mining and the Northwest Territories’ struggling diamond industry is at the centre.

he diamond industry is defending the ethics of mined diamonds after Danish company Pandora announced last week it would use only lab-grown products. Pandora said a combination of renewables and offsets will make its synthetic diamonds carbon-neutral.

Global jewellery organizations responded to Pandora’s announcement in a joint news release arguing the company had smeared natural diamonds by presenting the “misleading narrative” that lab-grown diamonds are an “ethical” alternative to gems pulled from the ground. Continue Reading →

Nunavut economy grows despite global pandemic – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – May 11, 2021)


Nunavut was one of two Canadian jurisdictions to have its economy grow in 2020, as the country’s gross domestic product fell 5.3 per cent, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.

The territory’s GDP increased 3.5 per cent in 2020 – the most of any territory or province in the country, with Yukon trailing with a 1.1 per cent increase – according to the report published Monday.

Economic growth in Nunavut was supported by a healthy year for the gold and silver mining sector, which grew by 23 per cent, and iron mining, which grew by 34 per cent. Continue Reading →

Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite – by Lewis Rifkind (Yukon News – May 9, 2021)


The price of a decent wolverine fur goes for about $1,000 these days. Wolverine fur trim on hoods is highly desirable because it repels water. This means a frost-free hood on those cold days when Yukoners go outside.

Regrettably, there is a mine in the southeast Yukon of the same name that does not repel water and is costing Yukon residents a lot more than a single animal fur to treat its wastewater. This beast is known as the Wolverine Mine.

The Wolverine Mine site is located in the southeast Yukon on the Robert Campbell Highway between Ross River and Watson Lake. It produced mainly lead, zinc and some other metals for three years, and was last operated back in 2015. Continue Reading →