Federal Government Approves Meliadine Gold Mine
On January 27, 2015, the federal government accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB)’s recommendation — submitted in October 2014 and supported by 127 terms and conditions — to approve Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine planned gold mine in the territory’s Kivalliq region. “It is evident that the board met its primary objectives … to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents and communities of Nunavut, to protect the eco-systemic integrity of the Nunavut settlement area and to take into account the well-being of residents of Canada outside of the Nunavut settlement area,” Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, said in a Jan. 27, 2015 letter to the NIRB.
The Meliadine project, about 24 kilometers north of Rankin Inlet, will consist of one underground mine and five open pits, with a network of access roads, including, eventually, a two-lane all-weather road to the nearby Kivalliq community. During its construction phase, the project would employ about 1,000 people, and about 750 people after mining operations start up. Following issuance of the NIRB Project Certificate, Meliadine will proceed to the operational permitting phase.
Lawson Lundell was counsel to Agnico Eagle during the environmental assessment process, including the public hearings held before the NIRB in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut during August 2014, with a team which included Brad Armstrong, Q.C., Christine Kowbel, Toby Kruger, Jennifer Nyland and Mia Chung.