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  • Asbestos Found at Agnico-Eagle Mine

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Asbestos still an issue at Nunavut gold mine: Agnico-Eagle

    Second-most hazardous form of asbestos found at Meadowbank mine


    Nunavut April 19, 2013

    Amosite asbestos is considered to be one of the more hazardous forms of the material.

    More than a year after Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. first detected naturally-occurring asbestos found at its Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, the company continues to deal with asbestos at the mine site.

    Asbestos is often associated with gold-rich rocks.

    The problem is that asbestos is also linked to a variety of lung ailments and cancers, mainly affecting those who have worked or used asbestos in their everyday jobs for many years, according to the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center.

    After finding asbestos in samples taken from the mill’s crusher plant, “we took this issue very seriously and immediately notified regulators,” Norm Ladouceur, the mine’s health and safety superintendent, said at the recent Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.

    But Agnico Eagle was first “caught off guard” when the asbestos was found, he said.

    Since asbestos was discovered at the Meadowbank mine, 1,400 dust samples have been taken

    The type of asbestos found is called amosite, the second-most hazardous form of asbestos, the Mesothelioma and Asbestos Awareness Center says.

    However, not all samples at the mine show traces of asbestos, Ladouceur said.

    Drillers and truck drivers at Meadowbank appear to be more at risk to asbestos exposure than anyone else, he said.

    Now, “dust swipes” are taken from their equipment several times a day.

    All 1,000 or so workers on site also wear disposable coveralls and slippers over their boots to prevent the spread of any asbestos dust to non-affected areas.

    Workers in the mill and crusher plant also take off their protective gear before they leave those areas and use specialized “hepa” vacuums to clean their work clothes.

    That’s because mill remains the place where most of the asbestos has been found.

    “It’s a constant barrage of dust,” Ladouceur said about the atmosphere there.

    A full-time industrial hygienist now works at the mine site, and engineering controls have been put in place in the crusher plant to improve airborne dust levels, he said.

    While dust contamination remains an issue, trying to tell when dust contains asbestos can be a difficult task because “it’s very sporadic — it’s not like we can really pinpoint where it’s coming from,” Ladouceur said.

    The management plan for asbestos at Meadowbank also includes a medical surveillance program for workers involved in jobs which may bring them into contact with asbestos.

    That includes medical examinations such as pulmonary function testing and respirator fit testing.

    Workers also receive information sessions about asbestos, Ladouceur said.

    Any asbestos that’s found is “disposed in a proper environmentally-friendly way,” he said.

    Asbestos has been linked to:

    • asbestosis, where the asbestos fibres scar and damage the lungs;

    • lung cancer related to the degree of asbestosis in the lungs;

    • mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung’s lining, and,

    • cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and larynx.



    uploaded date: 20-04-2013

  • MMG Halts Review Process for Nunavut Mining Project

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    MMG halts review process for huge Nunavut mining corridor project

    As commodity prices tumble, zinc-copper project design to be changed


    Nunavut April 17, 2013

    This map from the 2012 Izok Corridor project proposal shows where the all-weather road would have run to the coast, not far from Kugluktuk.

    MMG Resources Inc. has put the brakes on its Izok Corridor zinc-copper mine and port project in western Nunavut, which was recently accepted for an environmental review by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

    “As there is a strong likelihood that the project design will be adjusted or additional alternatives included, MMG respectfully requests that the NIRB not initiate the scoping process nor issue a scope of project until MMG submits an update to the project description,” Sabha Safavi, MMG’s project manager for Canada, said in an April 16 letter to the NIRB.

    The NIRB process begins with a scoping of the project that’s up for review, followed by the development of environmental impact statement guidelines.

    But now, the scope of the project detailed in the 412-page Izok Corridor project proposal submitted to the NIRB in August 2012 will change.

    MMG’s letter offers no date for submission of a new proposal.

    But MMG said it’s “recently identified some additional project design options with potential to improve the economic viability of the project.”

    These include changes to the mining schedule and production rates, improvements to the execution plan, and the possible addition of a new property to the mining resources.

    “MMG is currently initiating a process to further develop and evaluate these options so that they can be considered for incorporation in the feasibility design,” the company’s letter to the NIRB said.

    The changes associated with an updated Izok Corridor project design, including the potential addition of another property, will be located within Nunavut, MMG said.

    After completing the engineering work “necessary to develop and evaluate these options”, MMG said it plans to consult with stakeholders on these potential changes “prior to submitting the project description update to the NIRB.”

    This scuttles the mining giant’s former timeline, which could have seen construction jobs start flowing to people in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region by 2015, with production starting in 2018.

    Minmetals Resources, MMG’s parent, a global resources company that explores, develops and mines base metal deposits around the world, is owned 75 per cent by the Chinese government, although MMG is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.

    It’s one of the world’s largest producers of zinc and also produces significant amounts of copper, lead, gold and silver.

    The initial proposal for the Izok mine, with an open pit and underground mine under Izok Lake, called for a two-million-tonne per year concentrator, which would also process the ore from the High Lake mine.

    As for the proposed transportation route, it was to have been a 350-kilometre all-weather road to connect the Izok Lake mine to High Lake, a second zinc-copper mine, with two open pit mines and one underground mine.

    MMG also proposed building new airstrips at Izok Lake, High Lake and Grays Bay, along with a new port at Grays Bay with the capacity to ship 650,000 tonnes of concentrate per year.

    During the Izok two-year construction period, 1,140 people were expected to find work, and then 710 would have jobs during the mines’ 12-year lifespan, working on fly-in, fly-out rotations.

    An indication of MMG’s waning interest in the project surfaced during the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit, where MMG revealed it is planning to spend only $6 million on minimal exploration on its Kitikmeot properties in 2013.

    In her keynote address to the symposium, Patricia Mohr, an economics and commodity market specialist with Scotiabank, also said mining companies are now examining project development more critically with some reconfiguring to cut costs.



    uploaded date: 20-04-2013

  • Xstrata and Sabina Want Bathurst Road and Port

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Mining companies pin hopes on western Nunavut port and road

    Xstrata Zinc, Sabina Gold and Silver want Bathurst road and port


    Nunavut April 15, 2013

    This map from Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.'s project description report shows the location of its proposed Back River gold mine, located south of Bathurst Inlet.

    The calm waters of Bathurst Inlet see little traffic: that would change if the planned Bathurst road and port project moves ahead.

    An ambitious project, which seemed too large, costly, and unimaginable to build just 10 years ago, now appears to be bringing a major transportation hub to one of Nunavut’s most picturesque places.

    The Bathurst road and port project, which used to be known by its acronym, BIPAR, has now lost an “A” and is called BIPR.

    But, more importantly, the project has gained two major mining companies as key supporters, who want to see the port and road built for their future mines in western Nunavut.

    While neither company, Xstrata Zinc Canada, or Sabina Gold and Silver Corp., knows whether their mine projects south of Bathurst Inlet will proceed, they’re progressing with their plans for BIPR — which, by itself, will be a huge undertaking.

    BIPR’s first stage — which could start as early as 2015 — would see the construction of a wharf to serve giant ice-class vessels (up to 50,000 tonnes), which would deliver fuel and bulk cargo to the port, and eventually serve to transport zinc concentrate to Europe.

    BIPR would also include a dock to handle barges serving the Kitikmeot communities, a 200-person camp and services, a 220-million-litre diesel fuel tank farm, a 40 MW power plant (producing four times more electricity than the power plants in Kuujjuaq or Iqaluit), and a 1,200-metre airstrip and heliport, which would see 6,400 round-trip flights during the four-year construction period.

    The first phase of the project would also include the construction of 10-m wide, 83-kilometre road, with as many as 27 bridges.

    The Nunavut Impact Review Board recently received a new project proposal from the companies, with more details on environmental issues, wildlife protection, marine and road traffic than an earlier version submitted to the regulator last December.

    That new proposal will determine the guidelines for the project’s future draft environmental impact statement.

    But the good news for the companies is that they won’t have to reinvent the wheel, but only supplement the lengthy draft EIS with more information, Xstrata Canada’s Denis Hamel told Nunatsiaq News at last week’s Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.

    That’s despite the mixed reaction from many groups who sent in comments on the BIPR project to the NIRB.

    This year, the two mining companies plan to continue pre-feasibility studies on the project, continue into the permitting process, and get organized for a big pre-construction year in 2014. They’re also looking for other partners to offset the project’s cost, Hamel sad

    But Xstrata wants the port built because otherwise its proposed mine won’t make economic sense, he said.

    “Shipping year-round is still the best economic choice,” he said.

    That’s because, among other things, year-round shipping — at a frequency of one ship a month — will reduce the number of ships at the port site at any given time. This means you won’t see boats and barges docked up and down the Bathurst Inlet during the late summer, Hamel said.

    In his presentation at a symposium session, Hamel also showed a video about how a ship plows through the ice in winter. The trace can be crossed by snowmobiles on special bridges within an hour after the ship passes, he said.

    Spending money to advance BIPR now seems like a good short-term investment, said Hamel, although Xstrata can’t yet make the final decision about the project or the mine until the project goes through all the permitting hoops.

    For now, Xstrata is pouring $40 million into advanced exploration at the mine project — (much more than the $6 million MMG is spending on its nearby Izok Corridor project in 2013).

    The four open-pit and two underground mines at Xstrata’s Hackett River project would produce 250,000 tonnes of zinc per year over 15 years, provide 800 jobs during construction and 500 when operating. The zinc would be shipped out through the Northwest Passage, past Resolute Bay and down the west coast of Baffin Island to Europe.

    Sabina, aiming for a 2016 start-up, also plans to spend more than $60 million in 2013.

    Sabina’s Back River gold mine, which would take two years to build, operate for 10 to 15 years and then take five years to close down, would hire 1,600 workers during the construction phase and 900 during the mine’s operations. The project, which would produce 300,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold a year, would also include open-pit and underground mines.

    As for BIPR’s cost, that was estimated at $270 million several years ago, when the project’s first proponents, the Kitikmeot Corp. and Nuna Logistics, unsuccessfully sought federal money to kick-start the port and road complex as a way of encouraging economic development in western Nunavut.

    In 2008, they ended up shelving the project.

    People in the Kitikmeot region will have another chance to learn more about BIPR and Sabina’s proposed mine project next week when mine representatives will tour Kitikmeot communities.

    Meetings, with snacks and door prizes, are scheduled for:

    April 22, in Kugluktuk at 7 p.m. in the Jimmy Hikok elementary school gym;

    April 23, in Cambridge at 7.p.m. in the Elders Palace;

    April 24, in Gjoa Haven at 7 p.m. in the community hall;

    April 25, in Taloyoak at 7 p.m. in the community hall; and,

    April 26 in Kugaaruk at 7 p.m. in the community hall.



    uploaded date: 20-04-2013

  • Mary River Going Back to Review Stage

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Thandiwe Vela
    Northern News Services
    Published Monday, April 15, 2013


    There will be feelings of deja vu later this year as Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation returns to Nunavut regulators over an amendment to the company's Mary River project.

    uploaded date: 20-04-2013

  • Nunavut Diamond Mine Owners Owe $2M

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Officials unable to contact Shear Diamonds since October

    CBC News  Apr 16, 2013

    The owner of the Jericho mine site in Nunavut has failed to pay millions of dollars to ensure the cleanup of the former site.

    Shear Diamonds disappeared last fall, after unexpectedly closing up the Jericho site. Jericho was Nunavut's first diamond mine.

    Shear still hasn't declared bankruptcy, but it now seems the federal government may be stuck with the clean-up and taxpayers stuck with the bill.

    Under the terms of its water license, Shear Diamonds should have posted a security bond of $3.4 million — that's money held by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to pay for a clean-up in the event the company goes bankrupt.

    In an email to CBC News, federal government spokesperson Genevieve Guibert said Shear Diamonds still owes more than $2 million. Guibert said they expect the company to live up to its financial obligations. However, that seems increasingly unlikely.

    A letter from the federal government to the Nunavut Impact Review Board last month said federal officials haven't succeeded in making any contact with Shear Diamonds since October.

    Ryan Barry, the board's executive director, said the federal government is now in a grey area.

    "At some point they will have to make a determination whether the company has in fact completely defaulted and can't, you know, the site isn't about to be put back into operation. And they might have to make a call between continued care and maintenance and full closure," said Barry.

    Guibert said the federal government is monitoring the situation. She said Shear Diamonds is still the mine's operator, and the company remains accountable for safety at the site.

    A recent report from Nunavut’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development found weaknesses in the way the federal government collects security bonds. It found that three of the 11 mines in Nunavut had security shortfalls totaling almost $11 million.

    CBC News


    uploaded date: 17-04-2013

  • QIA still in talks with Baffinland

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    QIA still in talks with Baffinland over iron mine benefits: Eegeesiak

    "This takes time"

     NUNATSIAQ NEWS : Nunavut April 11, 2013 - 8:47 am

    The Qikiqtani Inuit Association said April 10 that the organization continues “to work hard” with Baffinland Iron Mines Corp to reach impact benefits and commercial production lease agreements.

    Baffinland wants to build an iron mine that would produce 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore a year from the Mary River mine in northern Baffin Island — down from the much larger mine that the company planned to build until this past January when owners announced they would go ahead with a scaled-down project.

    In an April 10 news release, Okalik Eegeesiak said QIA is happy with the level of progress being made in the negotiations with Baffinland.

    “While we understand Inuit in the Qikiqtani region are impatient for news, QIA is following the agreed-to process to make sure we get the best agreement possible and this takes time,” she said.

    “We are working with Baffinland to find a path forward that will provide Inuit with the benefits that economic development can bring while at the same time ensuring that this development is balanced with our cultural and societal values.”

    Eegeesiak is scheduled talk to delegates at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit April 10 to discuss the importance of community engagement during the development process.


    uploaded date: 15-04-2013

  • imagineNATIVE ‘s Mentorship Recipients Announced for 2013

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    Mentorship Recipients Announced for 2013

    imagineNATIVE ‘s annual Commissioning Series Expands

    Toronto, March 12, 2013 – imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2013 mentorships, partnership with Charles Street Video (CSV), the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), and the New Brunswick Filmmakers Co-operative (NBFC). Each year, imagineNATIVE and its valued partners commission an Indigenous artist to create a new short work that will premiere at the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. These partnerships provide the artists with access to their respective centre’s resources, including camera equipment, workshops, and post-production facilities.

    “Our annual short film and video commissioning series is an integral part of imagineNATIVE that could only be achieved through our important partnerships with CSV, LIFT and the NBFC,” says Jason Ryle, imagineNATIVE’s Executive Director. “Together we remain committed to developing the careers of Indigenous artists and I congratulate this year’s recipients.”  

    imagineNATIVE and Charles Street Video are pleased to announce photographer and video artist Keesic Douglas (Ojibway) as the recipient of the 3rd annual CSV/imagineNATIVE Residency. This unique opportunity offers the recipient access to state of the art equipment and training. Keesic’s work has been exhibited and screened at imagineNATIVE, across Canada and internationally. In 2009 his video War Pony screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in Germany and in 2007 his video The Vanishing Trace won imagineNATIVE’s Best Short Documentary award.

    imagineNATIVE’s first collaborative commissioning mentorship was presented in partnership with the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. Almost a decade later, imagineNATIVE and LIFT have the pleasure of announcing Toronto-based Kelabit artist Adrienne Marcus Raja as the recipient of our ninth annual mentorship. The LIFT/imagineNATIVE Mentorship offers an Indigenous artist living in the GTA the opportunity to expand their practice into the realm of film. Adrienne will be enrolled in LIFT’s seasonal workshops, be paired with a suitable mentor, be provided with access to LIFT’s production and post-production equipment, and receive additional financial and resource support from imagineNATIVE and mentorship partners, Kodak ( and Technicolor (, to complete a film for premiere at the 2013 Festival.

    “LIFT is pleased to be working with Adrienne on a film for imagineNATIVE 2013,” says Chris Kennedy, LIFT’s Executive Director. “Adrienne's practice incorporates a broad range of contemporary art-making, but carries a unique and engaging voice. We're excited to see how she translates her vision to the film medium. We're expecting an exciting project and look forward to working with her in its realization.”

    Finally, imagineNATIVE is incredibly thrilled to announce the Festival’s first partnership with the New Brunswick Filmmakers Co-operative, our first out-of-province mentorship partner of its kind. For this first year, imagineNATIVE and the NBFC are pleased to announce Fredericton-based Maliseet artist John David Thornton as the recipient of the first NBFC/imagineNATIVE Mentorship.

    This inaugural mentorship was developed to offer an Indigenous person living in New Brunswick the opportunity to expand their artistic practice in videomaking. John will be enrolled in NBFC’s seasonal workshops, be paired with a suitable mentor, be provided with access to NBFC’s production and post-production equipment, and receive additional financial and resource support from NBFC and imagineNATIVE to complete a short video for premiere at imagineNATIVE 2013 followed by a screening at the 2013 Silver Wave Festival.

    “imagineNATIVE is incredibly pleased to partner with the NBFC on this mentorship program,” says Jason Ryle, imagineNATIVE’s Executive Director. “We are committed to extending our support and outreach to Indigenous artists living in Canada’s Atlantic region. We want to see more Indigenous media arts production in the East and this partnership with NBFC is a significant step in that direction.”  

    Congratulations once again to all recipients and thank you to all of this year’s incredible applicants. Be sure to check out the completed works which will have their World Premieres at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, October 16-20, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.


    uploaded date: 18-03-2013

  • Nunavut Film Offers Film Workshop in Cambridge Bay

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News




    The Nunavut Film Development Corporation is seeking interested individuals to participate in our first film workshop in Cambridge Bay.

    Participants in the workshop will learn about:

    ·      Story Structure

    ·      Cinematography

    ·      Sound Recording

    ·      Editing

    In addition participants will participate in the production of a short film that will be completed by the end of the workshop.

    Participants should be eighteen or over in age.

    Participants will receive an honorarium of $600 at the end of the workshop. 

    Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided on each day of the workshop.

    Preference will be given to residents of Cambridge Bay, no travel coverage will be provided. 

    To register or receive further information on the workshop please contact:

    Julia Burns at or

    Derek Mazur at

    Or contact our office at 867-979-3012



    uploaded date: 14-03-2013

  • Laurier’s "Idle KNOW More" event promotes awareness

    uploaded by: Cara Di Staulo

    channel: Isuma News

    BRANTFORD – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Office of Aboriginal Initiatives will host an Idle-KNOW-More teach-in to promote awareness and understanding of the Idle No More movement and other colonial resistance activities across Canada and North America. The teach-in will be held Monday, March 4 beginning at 9 a.m.

    uploaded date: 28-02-2013