Regulatory board can issue terms and conditions for mine projects, but not enforce them
Regulators in Nunavut are hoping new legislation will give them more power when it comes to making mining companies comply with regulations.
Currently, the Nunavut Impact Review Board can only issue terms and conditions for mine projects, but doesn't have the authority to enforce those terms or punish companies who violate them.
Ryan Barry, the executive director of the NIRB, says something has to change.
"We do have legislation coming through, we're waiting for it to come into force — the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act. That actually will carry prohibitions for not being in compliance or breaking terms and conditions of project certificates," Barry said. "So that will have fines, even up to and including jail time."
Shear Diamonds high priority
Shear Diamonds, the owner of the Jericho diamond mine site, has failed to meet certain basic requirements to maintain and monitor the site.
But the NIRB can't do much about it except ask for compliance.
Shear Diamonds took over the Jericho project a few years ago, hoping to re-open the mine. But money problems interfered andShear quickly packed up and closed the site more than a year ago. It left behind barrels of waste, untreated fuel spills, and some unlucky investors.
The federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development has been doing some basic monitoring, but the long-term future of the site, including any cleanup, is not known.
In the meantime, many are having trouble getting in contact with representatives from Shear Diamonds.
"We have had enough contact to get an appropriate name and listing of a contact that does maintain responsibility for Shear Diamond's affairs currently," Barry said. "That's about as far as we've gone.
"So as you'll see detailed in our public report, we really haven't had much success in engaging this particular proponent in the last year, neither have — to the best of our knowledge — other parties with monitoring responsibilities."
Anything and everything that is in the site are now owned by Kitikmeot Inuit Association so if you "steal" you are stealing from KIA and will face justice.
You should never ever leave any site uncleaned, esp toxic fuel waste where wild animals live. This is close to a calving ground for caribou so it is a real concern.
Griffin you do not know what you are talking about no one living in the area give me a break. Regardless if anyone is in the area clean up your mess and there are people in the area. I say let all of kitikmeot go to the mine and grab what they can no one will know.
There's no inhabited communities in the nearby area. Bathurst Inlet was the closest community. 2011 population = 0, 2001 population = 5.
Your ethics are wonderful. On the one hand you're telling them to clean their mess up, and on the other you're telling people to go in and steal. It's little wonder that they've left if they're surrounded by thieves.
Filipino Di Pizzo
Having a regulatory authority, let alone an environmental assessment agency like NIRB, take care of enforcement, is like having the judge hear a case, make a decision, then investigate and go after a party if they fail to meet the terms and conditions of that decision. While I understand it may be frustrating to a regulatory authority like NIRB to see this obvious lack of enforcement, the fact is that legislation in place contain defined provisions for inspection, enforcement action, fines and ... » more
There is no one who lives anywhere near this mine. The land has no use in the foreseeable future for anything except mining. It's no surprise that the mining company didn't do any reclamation work.