With temperatures hovering around -20°C coupled
with high winds and snow, the Nunavut Mining Symposium Society
kicked off its annual two-day conference in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Willms & Shier lawyers John Donihee, Julie Abouchar and Charles
Birchall attended to take in Nunavut's largest mineral sector
trade show, network with key government, industry and Inuit
Association representatives and meet friends and colleagues. The
clear message from the Symposium is that communication, investment,
patience and diligence remain the key ingredients to developing
Nunavut's mineral and exploration sector – and to playing
a key role in shaping the future of Nunavut.
Delegates were welcomed by VIPs including the Honourable Peter
Taptuna, Premier of Nunavut, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq,
Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and
Minister of Environment, and James Eetoolook, Vice-President,
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.
Symposium speakers spoke about projects set to advance and
others yet to be fully explored. They acknowledged that
establishing infrastructure to construct and operate mines, as well
as to deliver products to markets, remains the key challenge to
resource development in Nunavut.
Nunavut Project Updates
The Symposium featured updates on projects across the
Meadowbank mine – Delegates
learned that gold production levels are expected to increase at
Meadowbank mine – Nunavut's only currently producing mine
located 70 kilometres north of Baker Lake. In 2013, the mine set
records, with the mill processing an average of 11,398 tonnes per
day in the fourth quarter.
Hope Bay gold project – The
Hope Bay gold project, located 90 kilometres south of Cambridge
Bay, has a new owner. TMAC Resources has determined that the mine
has a life of 10 years with estimates of recovered gold at 2.25
million ounces. Hope Bay has already received regulatory approvals
and TMAC Resources is looking this year to secure additional
funding to continue exploration work.
Back River Gold project –
Sabina Gold and Silver Corp has filed a draft environmental impact
statement for their its Back River Gold project with the Nunavut
Impact Review Board. The project is located approximately 400
kilometres southeast of Cambridge Bay.
Mary River iron mine project –
The Nunavut Impact Review Board is expected to release
recommendations on the early revenue phase of Baffinland's Mary
River iron mine project, located 160 kilometres south of Pond
Inlet. Public hearings were held in the Pond Inlet the last week of
January 2014 to give individuals and organizations an opportunity
to comment on the phased approach being proposed by
Regulatory Change and Economic Development
Willms & Shier lawyers also attended a series of sessions
dealing with improvements and changes to Nunavut's regulatory
system. The Northern Projects Management Office and The Mining
Association of Canada provided updates.
The last day of the Symposium featured sessions focused on
community economic development and investment in infrastructure. A
detailed session on uranium mining and the Kiggavik Project located
80 kilometres west of Baker Lake was also held.
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