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Ministers' Support Nunavut Decision to Hold Public Hearings into DeBeer's Chidliak Mine Proposal

Feb 17, 2023

Canada’s federal ministers responsible for the environment, natural resources and Indigenous rights have agreed with the Nunavut Impact Review Board decision that the proposed new DeBeer's diamond mine in the territory should undergo a public review.

The Chidliak diamond mine proposed by De Beer's Canada Inc. is located on the Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island, about 120 kilometres northwest of Iqaluit.

Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal and other federal ministers said Tuesday in a letter to the board that they agree and support NIRB’s decision.

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David Vandal, Canada's Minister for Northern Affairs Signed Letter supporting a public hearing for DeBeer's Chidliak Mine proposed for Baffin Island, in Nunavut.

The main reasons for a full public review is that De Beer's 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.

Concern has been expressed by nearby communities about the project's potential impacts on caribou, polar bears and traditional Inuit harvesting and land use. As a result, the board concluded the proposal requires a full environmental review to assess potential eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts.

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

The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) provides many opportunities to make your views known, to ensure your concerns and ideas are addressed throughout the impact assessment process. The members of the NIRB are appointed through nominations by Inuit organizations and government to make decisions together. The NIRB staff are located in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and are here to listen and work with you!

Special efforts are made to ensure Inuit voices are heard throughout the NIRB’s processes. The emphasis on gathering Inuit input is unique in Canada, originating with the NIRB’s objectives as set out in Section 12.2.5 of the Nunavut Agreement.

The primary objectives of NIRB shall be at all times to protect and promote the existing and future well-being of the residents and communities of the Nunavut Settlement Area, and to protect the ecosystem integrity of the Nunavut Settlement Area”

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View of terrain near DeBeer's proposed Chidliak mine on Baffin Island, Nunavut.

The NIRB has developed a series of public guides in English, Inuktitut, Inuinnaqtun and French which can be accessed online and provide an overview of the NIRB’s process and how to become involved at each step. Check out our public guides and learn how to effectively participate in the assessment of proposed projects near your community!

The NIRB posts every piece of information regarding each of its impact assessments online on a public registry that can be accessed by anyone.

For more information
Nunavut Impact Assessment Review Board
29 Mitik Street, PO Box 1360
Cambridge Bay, Nu  X0B 0C0                      Phone 1-866-233-3033  Fax 1-867-983-2594

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