Archive | Canada Mining – North of 60

Nunavut gold miner scales back production forecast (Nunatsiaq News – November 20, 2019)

TMAC Resources Inc. won’t meet its production target for 2019, following disappointing third-quarter results from its Doris gold mine in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region.

“I am very disappointed to not be able to meet initial annual production guidance, but not so much so that we are going to deviate from the prominence of safety in the mine,” said Jason Neal, the company’s president and CEO, in a recent news release on Oct. 31, announcing the company’s third-quarter financial results.

The company now expects to produce between 140,000 and 150,000 ounces of gold this year, down from the previous target of 160,000 to 170,000 ounces. This reduced output will mean TMAC will be making less money, since its overhead for operating the mine remains the same. Continue Reading →

Intervenors weigh in on when to reconvene Baffinland hearing – by Elaine Anselmi (Nunatsiaq News – November 19, 2019)

Regulatory talks about Baffinland’s proposed expansion of its Mary River mine should proceed “as soon as possible,” or face delays of up to one year, depending on which affected party you’re speaking to.

Intervenors recently submitted their comments on the matter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, which must decide how to proceed after its hearing ground to a halt on Nov. 6, after Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said that concerns raised by Inuit hadn’t been adequately addressed.

While agreeing there were unresolved concerns to be addressed, the Government of Nunavut said the hearing should be rescheduled for the first available date, “unless another party can substantiate why it should be delayed longer.” Continue Reading →

OPINION: Iron ore mining not for the faint of heart—it’s a tough business – by Gary Vivian (Nunatsiaq News – November 19, 2019)

Gary Vivian is the President, N.W.T. and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.

It’s important that people understand that governments around the
world—both public and Indigenous—invite mining companies to come
and invest in order to do what those governments themselves cannot
do: that is to convert rock into training, into jobs, into business opportunities
and to generate revenues that can help benefit governments’ constituencies
and beneficiaries.

For example, in Alaska, government funding provided the port and
road for the Red Dog mine, which is owned by the Inupiat and
operated by Teck. The company pays off that road and port over
time with annual payments.

The N.W.T. and Nunavut Chamber of Mines was created over 50 years ago, and our vision is to work for “a strong minerals industry that benefits the peoples of the North.” From that perspective, we would like to offer the following thoughts and observations on the Mary River mining project.

The Mary River project is a game-changing opportunity for Nunavut and Nunavummiut. It provides an opportunity for longer term training, employment and sustained revenues for Inuit, Inuit associations and governments. Continue Reading →

Northern challenge: NWT prosperity depends on rebuilding investor confidence, miners warn – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – November 8, 2019)

What happens when a mining-based economy runs out of mines? The Northwest Territories risks finding out the hard way but the reason won’t be a lack of mineral resources. For too long, investors have been discouraged from backing territorial exploration.

That’s the message the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines delivered to the legislative assembly in Yellowknife last month. Now the industry group awaits a response, one backed with action, as the newly elected government prepares for its four-year term.

The territory’s three mines, all diamond operations, have passed peak production, facing closures over the coming decade. The NWT hosts only a few advanced projects, none comparing in potential economic clout with the big three. The problem contrasts with the NWT’s two northern neighbours, where the industry continues to thrive. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Mary River: if financial viability is a factor, then prove it – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – November 14, 2019)

Nunavut’s system for regulating industrial development, born within the 1993 Nunavut land claims agreement, has likely never faced a greater test than the twisting, turning series of environmental and socio-economic assessments for the Mary River iron mine over the past 10 years.

This was on full public display in Iqaluit earlier this month, when the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s final public hearing on the $900-million railway expansion proposal from Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. imploded amidst a mood of confusion and incoherence. The final two days of that seven-day hearing, scheduled for Pond Inlet, were cancelled.

At the same time, the fate of Baffinland’s multibillion dollar, multigenerational iron mine is now shrouded in uncertainty. When this editorial was written, the review board had yet to decide on a motion from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. that, if accepted, would delay proceedings for eight to 12 months. Continue Reading →

Baffinland lays off 586 contract employees, halts planned work – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – November 14, 2019)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. says it has laid off 586 contracted employees working at its Mary River mine. Of those contractors, 96 are Inuit and 490 are non-Inuit, the company said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

No direct Baffinland employees are affected, Baffinland said. The layoffs come shortly after the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s decision on Nov. 6 to abruptly adjourn its public hearing on the company’s expansion plans.

“Due to the uncertainty of Phase 2 permit approvals, work associated with the 2019 Work Plan has been demobilized,” Salima Virani, a communications specialist for Baffinland, said in the email. Continue Reading →

Baffinland ‘must significantly change its approach,’ Qamaniq says – by Derek Neary (Nunavut News – November 7, 2019)


With public hearings for Baffinland Iron Mines’ proposed expansion of its Mary River mine taking place in Iqaluit, Tununiq MLA David Qaminiq told his colleagues in the legislative assembly that the mining company has more work to do to gain the trust of Inuit.

He suggested on Wednesday that the company should have been more forthcoming about its full plans from its early days.

“Rather than providing a complete picture of the full scope of the project and its ultimate impact on the region, the incremental or ‘phased’ approach to requesting change after change after change has only served to cause confusion and frustration,” said Qaminiq. Continue Reading →

Baffinland blasted for its approach to community consultations – by Elaine Anselmi (Nunatsiaq News – November 6, 2019)

Pond Inlet resident Tim Anaviapik Soucie says the problems with Baffinland’s approach to community consultation for its plans to expand its Mary River mine were evident from the moment chairs were set up in the room.

“Lining people up in chairs to talk to us tells us who is important and who is in charge,” Soucie told the Nunavut Impact Review Board during its hearing in Iqaluit on Tuesday, Nov. 5. “Circles do away with this.”

Soucie described Baffinland’s team arriving in town with a PowerPoint presentation that celebrated their achievements and work so far, and then asked if there were any questions. “This is not consultation,” he said. Continue Reading →

Baffinland’s Inuit landlord won’t support Mary River expansion – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – November 4, 2019)

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association, which controls most of the land occupied by the Mary River iron mine, refuses to endorse or support the mine owner’s railway-based expansion proposal, says the organization’s president, P.J. Akeeagok.

Following a special board meeting held on Oct. 30, the QIA dropped this bombshell declaration into the hands of the Nunavut Impact Review Board in the form of a letter on Nov. 1, just before the start of the review board’s final public hearing in Iqaluit on Baffinland’s phase two expansion proposal on Nov. 2.

At their special meeting, QIA board members voted unanimously to take that position, Akeeagok’s letter said. “Many of QIA’s environmental and cultural concerns regarding Baffinland’s Phase 2 proposal have not been adequately resolved. We are also concerned that there are issues raised by impacted communities that have not yet been addressed,” QIA said. Continue Reading →

Nunavut board rejects Oceans North motion to suspend iron mine assessment – by Emma Tranter (Nunatsiaq News – November 3, 2019)

The Nunavut Impact Review Board has dismissed a motion from Oceans North to suspend the review board’s assessment of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s railway-based phase two expansion plan for the Mary River iron mine.

In front of a packed audience in Iqaluit’s Cadet Hall, the board presented its ruling on the motion from Oceans North, and two other motions, during the late afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 3. A public hearing on the phase two expansion is currently being held in Iqaluit from Nov. 2 to 6.

The notice of motion filed by Oceans North on Oct. 29 asked the board to suspend its proceedings until the NIRB had the chance to review a document called a preliminary offering circular. Continue Reading →

‘It’s time Canadian companies stand up’: Agnico-Eagle CEO vows to make the case for energy and mining – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – October 25, 2019)

Boyd said he plans to be particularly vocal about the need for federal government investment in Canada’s Arctic

Two days after a federal election left Canada fractured along regional lines, and divided on many issues including whether to build energy pipelines, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. chief executive Sean Boyd said he plans to begin advocating more forcefully for resource development.

The comments came in an interview with the Financial Post on Thursday, when Agnico reported record quarterly gold production of 477,000 ounces, and which has helped propel the company’s stock up by 40 per cent surge this year.

As the company grows into its role as one of Canada’s largest mining companies, Boyd said he plans to be particularly vocal about the need for federal government investment in Canada’s Arctic. His company has spent the past decade building two mines in Nunavut, which still largely lacks roads, energy grids, higher education resources and other infrastructure, and said it plans to use the experience to propound the benefits of mining. Continue Reading →

Paved with promises (Part Two): The North’s infrastructure deficit impacts sovereignty, the economy and quality of life – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 7, 2019)

Canada would gain a deep-water arctic port, Nunavut would get its first road out of the territory and mineral-rich regions would open up if two mega-proposals come to fruition.

Recent funding announcements to study the Northwest Territories’ Slave Geological Province Corridor and Nunavut’s Grays Bay Road and Port projects could lead to a unified all-season route from a highway running northeast out of Yellowknife to stretch north through the Lac de Gras diamond fields, past the Slave and Izok base and precious metals regions, and on to Arctic Ocean shipping.

In mid-August, as federal and NWT elections neared, representatives from both levels of government announced a $40-million study into a possible 413-kilometre all-season route linking the NWT’s Highway #4 with a proposed Nunavut road. The project would also extend the NWT electrical grid to the Slave region, which straddles both sides of the NWT-Nunavut border. Continue Reading →

Paved with promises (Part One): The North’s infrastructure needs get some attention from campaigning politicians – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 7, 2019)

Could this be the time when decision-makers finally get serious about Northern infrastructure? With one territorial election just concluded and a deficit-budget-friendly incumbent federal party campaigning for re-election, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut might have reason to expect definitive action demonstrated by men, women and machinery at work. But while some projects show real progress, much of Canada’s Northern potential remains bogged down in talk and studies.

That’s despite some $700 million allocated to the North in Ottawa’s pre-election budget and months of Liberal spending promises since then. Not all that money was intended for infrastructure, however, and even some of the projects labelled that way turn out to be social or cultural programs.

Not necessarily new money either, much of it comes out of Ottawa’s $2-billion National Trade Corridors Fund, now two years into an 11-year program that promised up to $400 million for transportation infrastructure in the three territories by 2028. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s newest MLA talks about mining and infrastructure – by Elaine Anselmi (Nunatsiaq News – October 17, 2019)

As Nunavut’s legislature starts its fall sitting, David Qamaniq delivers his first members statement

The opening of the Nunavut legislative assembly’s fall sitting saw the newly minted Tununiq MLA, David Qajaakuttuk Qamaniq, give his first member’s statement.

“I would not be here today without the hard work and success of many people,” he opened, thanking his family and friends, as well as the opponent he faced in last month’s byelection, Charlie Inuarak.

“I fully recognize that I have joined this house at the midway point in its term. It feels like joining the National Hockey League midway through the season,” Qamaniq said, prompting laughs all around. Continue Reading →

Western Nunavut gold miner pleads guilty to Fisheries Act violation – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – October 8, 2019)

CAMBRIDGE BAY—TMAC Resources Inc., which operates the Hope Bay gold mine about 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, must pay a $50,000 fine for the unauthorized discharge of effluent into a nearby creek.

TMAC, which pleaded guilty to violating a regulation under the Fisheries Act, was ordered to pay the fine on Oct. 2 at a hearing in the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit.

The money will go into the federal Environmental Damages Fund, which ensures court-awarded penalties support projects with positive environmental impacts. “It’s not good,” said Alex Buchan, TMAC’s vice-president of corporate social responsibility, of the conviction. Continue Reading →