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Federal ministers send Nunavut diamond mine proposal to environmental review

The Canadian Press
Federal ministers send Nunavut diamond mine proposal to environmental review

NUNAVUT  — Federal ministers have agreed with the Nunavut Impact Review Board that a proposal for a new diamond mine in the territory should undergo a public review.

De Beers Canada Inc. is seeking to build its Chidliak diamond mine on the Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island, about 120 kilometres northwest of Iqaluit.

The company says it plans to use a FutureSmart Mining approach to reduce environmental impacts.

The impact review board has highlighted that De Beers proposes to use new technologies like remote mining and operation of vehicles, as well as a modular nuclear reactor, which it says have not yet been well demonstrated in the Arctic.

Several organizations and government departments have expressed concerns about the project’s potential impacts on caribou, polar bears and traditional Inuit harvesting and land use.

In a screening decision in November, the board concluded the proposal requires a full environmental review to assess potential eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal and other federal ministers said in a letter to the board that they agree.

“I appreciate the work that the board has done in screening the project proposal,” the letter states. “The responsible ministers have the utmost confidence in the board to conduct a rigorous review of the project proposal.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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