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Meliadine extension project should not be allowed – Nunavut board

23rd November 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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The extension project for the Meliadine mine, owned by Agnico Eagle, should not proceed, owing to the uncertainty of the potential for negative, lasting effects on caribou, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) has said.

The project would extend the Meliadine mine’s life by 11 years to 2043.

Agnico Eagle has proposed extending the openpit access for specific targets to underground mining access and developing additional infrastructure and portals to support the additional access.

The miner also planned a wind farm, including 11 turbines. The NIRB said that, although community members were generally supportive of Agnico Eagle finding alternative energy sources, they opposed the proposed location of the wind farm, citing concern about the impact on caribou.

The NIRB said it recognised the support in the Kivalliq communities for the economic benefits of extending the mine life, but found that there was considerable uncertainty in relation to the scope and effects that the proposed intensification of activities would have on the movement, abundance and health of Qamanirjuaq caribou herd, air quality, water quality in the Meliadine Lake and Itivia harbour and health, livelihood, culture and traditional land use of people in the region.

The board also said there were high levels of uncertainty as to whether existing modified mitigation measures would be sufficiently protective to prevent or manage negative effects from the extension proposal on caribou.

The Meliadine mine, which is forecast to produce 365 000 oz this year, is located near the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq district of Nunavut, about 25 km north of Rankin Inlet and 290 km southeast of our Meadowbank mine.

Meliadine includes seven gold deposits, six of which are part of the current mine plan, extending to 2032. The 98 222-ha property covers an 80-km-long greenstone belt.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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