A changing landscape: Diamonds in Canada Editorial – by Alisha Hiyate (Northern Miner – June 8, 2017)

Global mining news

Outside of the two new mines opening up in Canada — Stornoway Diamond’s Renard and De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds’ Gahcho Kué — there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the diamond world of late.

In Canada, De Beers flooded its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories in January. The underground mine, which has never been profitable, had been put up for sale after being put on care and maintenance last April, but failed to find a buyer. The mine was the diamond giant’s first mine outside of Africa when it opened in 2008.

In Ontario, De Beers has put an expansion of its Victor mine on hold after failing to get the support of the nearby Attawapiskat First Nation to conduct a bulk sample at the Tango kimberlite. Production from the mine is slated to end in 2018, but De Beers is studying ways to delay closing Victor by processing lower-grade stockpiles or mining deeper into the pit. It’s also considering a sale of the asset.

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Caribou again dominate Western Nunavut gold mine project review – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – June 8, 2017)


Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. pitched its gold mine project again last week in Cambridge Bay with a 72-page exhaustive new plan to mitigate, manage and monitor any impacts to the three caribou herds and other wildlife near its proposed Back River gold mine in western Nunavut.

This was the second round of environmental hearings on Sabina’s Back River project in Cambridge Bay. The first, which took place in 2016, resulted in a negative recommendation from the Nunavut Impact Review Board—and, with the additional mitigation, management and monitoring efforts, Sabina says it’s even, “more confident that there will be no impacts on caribou herds.”

Sabina’s plans for Back River include a chain of open pit and underground mines at its Goose property, located 400 kilometres south of Cambridge Bay and 520 km north of Yellowknife. The pits would operate for at least 10 years and involve filling, damming or draining lakes and streams, and building a 157-km road from the mine to a seasonal port facility and tank farm in Bathurst Inlet.

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Nunavut’s Hope Bay mine celebrates commercial production with Inuit landowners – by Kate Kyle (CBC News North – June 7, 2017)


50 guest expected on site today to celebrate the ramp up of the Doris North mine at Hope Bay

After decades of exploration, numerous owners and the complex logistics of getting a gold mine up and running in the Arctic, Nunavut’s Hope Bay mine is finally celebrating its ramp up toward full commercial production.

And they’re throwing a party. Fifty people, including Inuit landowners and mining executives, plan to fly to the remote site for a ceremony and tour. “It’s about being thankful for what we have been able to do there… [and to] recognize the people who have come before us, especially the Inuit,” said Catharine Farrow, TMAC Resources CEO.

t’s been more than a decade since there’s been an operating mine in the mineral rich Kitikmeot region. Hope Bay is about 125 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, encompassing about 1,100 square kilometres.

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‘State-of-the-art’ caribou protection plans draw broad support for Sabina gold mine – by Sara Minogue (CBC News North – June 05, 2017)


Warm feelings for Back River gold project at round 2 of final hearings in Cambridge Bay

An unprecedented second set of final hearings into a proposed gold mine in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region ended with broad consensus that the Back River project could provide jobs and opportunity — without harming already vulnerable caribou herds.

“I will be returning to my community with very good news,” said Shin Shiga, who travelled to the hearings in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, to represent the N.W.T.’s North Slave Métis Alliance. He arrived wary about the risks the project posed to caribou, and left confident in what he called a “very progressive project.”

Vancouver-based Sabina Gold and Silver wants to build an open-pit and underground gold mine about 150 kilometres south of Bathurst Inlet. The Nunavut Impact Review Board initially rejected its plans after hearings in 2016 left open questions about caribou and climate change.

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Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in FN and Goldcorp spar over mine proposal – by Dave Croft (CBC News North – June 5, 2017)


Yukon First Nation says mining company is pushing its Coffee Mine project too fast through screening

Goldcorp says the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation in Dawson City has refused to allow the company to speak directly to First Nation citizens about its gold mine proposal south of the Yukon community.

The comment is made in a document filed with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board and in response to documents filed by the First Nation complaining about consultation by the company. Goldcorp filed its 19,000 page application with the environmental screening agency at the end of March.

The assessment board is currently determining if the proposal contains enough information to allow the board to make recommendations about whether it should be permitted to move forward. There will also be a public comment phase.

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Nunavut deputy minister dishes on what will drive northern economy – by Beth Brown (Nunatsiaq News – May 29, 2017)


Record public spending on infrastructure, along with a surge in mining and exploration, could cause as much economic growth as Nunavut saw in the late 1990s. That’s according to Sherri Rowe, deputy minister for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation for the Government of Nunavut.

“I believe we are at a very important time in the territory’s development,” Rowe said, over a breakfast of granola and pancakes at Iqaluit’s Hotel Arctic. Rowe, who has been a bureaucrat and in business for 25 years, was the second speaker featured in a breakfast series hosted by the Iqaluit Chamber of Commerce, May 25.

She talked about ongoing development projects in Nunavut, from mining and tourism to airport and marine infrastructure. “Nunavut has a consumer market that didn’t exist two decades ago,” said Rowe—and Iqaluit is the centre of that opportunity.

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