Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

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 →

Agnico Eagle embraces reduced operations for its new western Nunavut mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 112, 2021)


Agnico Eagle Mining Ltd. plans to stick to a schedule of reduced operations into 2022 for its recently acquired Hope Bay gold mine, says general manager Eric Steinmetzer.

The new owner’s plans for Hope Bay include completing an overview of the entire operation on the property’s three gold deposits, Doris, Madrid and Boston. Analysts are now on site, looking at the full economic potential of the entire ore body, Steinmetzer said.

That analysis will take at least a year to complete, he said, and suggest whether or not Agnico Eagle needs to design a new mill or simply undertake an upgrade of the existing mill. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine could be mothballed, Baffinland president warns – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 4, 2021)


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s president and CEO Brian Penney says there’s a possibility the company might mothball its Mary River iron mine next year.

Penney explained in an April 30 letter that shareholders are saying they won’t invest any more money because there have been delays securing the approval to expand the operation in northern Baffin Island.

“The letter was sent to all employees and contracting staff,” said Heather Smiles, Baffinland’s manager of stakeholder relations. “This letter is intended from an internal perspective to communicate to our employees on what to expect.” Continue Reading →

Recommended staking moratorium in Yukon land use planning areas misses the mark, critics say – by Julien Gignac (CBC News Yukon – April 21, 2021)

Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation’s chief disagrees with a recommendation included in the Yukon Mineral Development Strategy that suggests staking moratoriums in land use planning areas should be capped at 20 per cent.

Roberta Joseph said the recommendation doesn’t go far enough, adding that too much staking in a given area runs the risk of prioritizing mining before land use plans are completed. “This recommendation is not really a balanced approach,” she said.

“There’s no fairness in a plan that’s already being dictated by all of the permits and licences that are being issued,” she said, referring to the regional land use plan that’s underway in the Dawson area. Continue Reading →

Here’s an inside look at Canada’s first rare earth mining project in the N.W.T. – by Liny Lamberink (CBC North – April 20, 2021)

Kyle Bayha says he’s been a minority at all of his past jobs. But for the last five weeks, the Délı̨nę, Northwest Territories man has been working at the Nechalacho demonstration project as an employee of Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction Corporation.

There, about 110 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife, the workforce is 80 per cent Indigenous he said. “Oh, it means lots,” he told reporters.

Cheetah Resources, which operates the project and owns the resources near the surface of the rare earth deposit, invited media for a tour of Nechalacho on Monday. Continue Reading →

Cleanup of Rayrock, the ‘Tłı̨chǫ Giant,’ to receive public scrutiny – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 22, 2021)

Federal plans to clean up the former Rayrock uranium mine and its surroundings will be examined at a three-day public hearing to be broadcast live by Cabin Radio next week.

The area around the mine, known as Kwetıı̨ɂ̨aà to the Tłı̨chǫ people, is in some ways the Tłı̨chǫ equivalent of Yellowknife’s Giant Mine. Both left a toxic legacy that’s complex, time-consuming and expensive to deal with.

The Rayrock mine, around 60 km northeast of Whatì, only operated from 1957 to 1959. “The Tłı̨chǫ were never informed of the dangers of uranium mining before the mine was built, or soon after it was closed,” the Tłı̨chǫ Government has said. Continue Reading →

Far North snapshot: Eight companies hunting for minerals in the north – by Magda Gardner (Northern Miner – April 18, 2021)

Global mining news

In their search for future mines, many companies are turning to the Far North as existing resources are depleted. The North features favourable geology, mining-friendly policies and is much less explored than more established destinations to the south. Below, we provide an overview of eight companies focused on the northern portion of this continent.

Gold Terra

Gold Terra Resource (TSXV: YGT; US-OTC: YGTFF) is completing a 12,000-metre first-phase drill program at the Campbell Shear target, on grounds optioned from Newmont (TSX: NGT; NYSE: NEM). These option grounds are just south of the past-producing Con mine, and adjacent to Gold Terra’s flagship Yellowknife City gold project in the Northwest Territories, 10 km from Yellowknife.

At approximately 800 sq. km, the Yellowknife City project covers an estimated 70 km of the Campbell Shear structure. The historic Giant and Con mines nearby generated a total of 14 million gold oz. from a 7-km section of the shear zone. Continue Reading →

East of Yellowknife, a new mine tries to be different – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 19, 2021)

Nechalacho, the NWT’s first new metals mine in decades, is about to enter production. Its owners envisage a model of smaller-scale mining, Indigenous involvement, and environmental responsibility.

The mine, around 100 km east of Yellowknife, is the first Canadian producer of rare earth elements – minerals that, in small quantities, power key parts of vehicles (especially electric vehicles) and various green technologies.

Phase one of the mine is small by NWT mining standards, sustaining around 30 seasonal jobs. This summer, 600,000 tons of rock will be mined, of which around 100,000 tons is expected to be valuable. Continue Reading →

‘If not this, then what?’ Nunavut Government in arctic Canada says economy needs controversial mining expansion – by Nick Murray (CBC News/Eye On The Arctic – April 19, 2021)

Deputy minister tells NIRB expansion could also increase access to country food

The government of Nunavut has painted a gloomy picture of the territory should Baffinland’s Phase 2 expansion not proceed.

Baffinland is seeking approval to double its production at its Mary River iron ore mine south-west of Pond Inlet.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board was holding a final series of hearings last week in Iqaluit to consider the Phase 2 expansion proposal. But the hearings were suspended indefinitely on Wednesday following Iqaluit’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. Continue Reading →

Baffinland’s new commitments too little, too late, critics say – by David Venn (Nunatsiaq News – April 14, 2021)


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has a list of new commitments it has made to communities near its Mary River mine, should its proposed expansion be approved, but critics say it’s not enough.

The Ontario-based mining company wants to build a 110-kilometre railway from its Mary River mine to Milne Inlet, double its iron ore shipments through the Tallurutiup Imanga marine conservation area and add another dock at its port. That proposal is the subject of a Nunavut Impact Review Board hearing underway this week in Iqaluit.

Baffinland has committed to an independent audit of the dust spread by the mine’s operations, to direct how the company will address environmental concerns if its expansion gets the green light. Continue Reading →

Inuit women experiencing harassment, lower pay at Canadian mine sites, report says – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – March 31, 2021)

More than half of Inuit women surveyed by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada in a report funded by the federal government said they have been sexually harassed at mining sites in Canada’s Far North.

According to the report released on Wednesday by Pauktuutit, a national non-profit Inuit women’s advocacy organization, the most frequent harassment incidents directed at Inuit women were “sexual comments, jokes, unwanted touching and emotional abuse.”

Some of the Inuit reported being the subject of sexual violence as frequently as every shift. Some reported feeling particularly vulnerable because they worked in housekeeping and janitorial positions that often placed them in private areas such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Continue Reading →

Yukon parties debate economic policy in chamber of commerce debate – by John Last and Philippe Morin (CBC News North – March 31, 2021)

Yukon politicians faced off Tuesday night in a debate organized by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce. The debate, which lasted over two hours, saw questions focused mainly on economic issues, posed by industry groups like the Yukon Chamber of Mines and the First Nation Chamber of Commerce.

Parties grappled with procurement policy, the future of tourism, and the territory’s recovery from COVID-19. “This election is about who Yukoners trust to lead this territory out of the pandemic, and into … a prosperous future,” said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.

“Too many small businesses have suffered,” said NDP Leader Kate White. “We need a government that gets what people are going through…. We need a government that’s pro-people.” Continue Reading →

The only city in Northwest Territories – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – March 26, 2021)

Far to the north lies the second largest of Canada’s three territories, simply named the Northwest Territories, and within this vast region of more than 400,000 square miles lies its only city, the capital called Yellowknife.

Yellowknife, and most of the region of the Northwest Territories, lies within what is known as the Canadian Shield, a large area of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rock, meaning it dates to the earliest part of Earth’s history.

Scoured down to stone during the last ice age, glaciation has receded over time, revealing a joined bedrock region in eastern and central Canada, stretching from north of the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean, this shield covers more than half of Canada and most of Greenland, and extends south into the northern parts of the United States. Continue Reading →

Nunavut mining companies defend environmental management despite stiff criticism – by Thomas Rohner (CBC News North – March 25, 2021)

The environmental impacts of Nunavut’s two biggest mining companies are not being properly managed, according to Inuit hunters and organizations, governments and non-profits.

That’s what documents on the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s (NIRB) website show about Agnico Eagle’s operations in the Kivalliq, and Baffinland’s Mary River mine in the Baffin region.

The companies mitigate environmental impacts through working groups that include hunters and other Inuit. These working groups monitor those impacts and recommend adjustments to ongoing mining operations. However, the mining companies are not required to act their advice. Continue Reading →