Gahcho Kue IBA signed
SOMBA K’E/YELLOWKNIFE - De Beers Canada Inc, Mountain Province Diamonds (TSX:MPV) and Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation announced last week that an impact benefit agreement had been reached for the proposed joint venture Gahcho Kue diamond mine.
“If we work together with the other First Nations, then we will be powerful,” stated Chief Felix Lockhart in a press release. “This agreement ensures that we have our families out on the land, using our land. We are shaping resource development the way we want it, according to First Nations.”
The agreement is said to provide employment, training, and business opportunities for the Lutsel K’e over the projected life of the mine. The project is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, and will employ close to 700 people during two years of construction, and 400 over its productive life.
Lac de Gras drilling commences
NWT - North Arrow Minerals (TSX.V:NAR) and Arctic Star Exploration Corp. (TSX.V:ADD) have begun an exploration program at the Redemption diamond project in the Lac de Gras region of the NWT, 47 km west of the Diavik Diamond mine.
The 1,000-metre program will include up to eight targets and will take place through the middle of August. A follow-up winter drill is expected to test ice-based targets.
North Arrow recently shifted its focus to its two diamond positions in the NWT and Nunavut.
NICO final license approval
WHATI/LAC LA MARTRE - Fortune Minerals Inc. (TSX:FT) last week received formal ministerial approval for its type A water licence. This approval from Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Michael Miltenberger follows on the recommendation of the Wekeezhii Land and Water Board earlier this month.
The $589 million gold-cobalt-bismuth-copper project includes a $347 million mine near Whati, and the construction of a $242 million metal processing facility in Saskatchewan.
Inuit organizations get direct access to federal funds
IKALUKTUTIAK/CAMBRIDGE BAY - The Nunavut Resources Corporation (NRC) has helped negotiate a change to eligibility requirements for access to the federal government’s main infrastructure funding programs. Previously excluded from the funding, Inuit organizations that are signatories to Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements with the Government of Canada will now have access to the $4 billion Building Canada Fund, and the $1.25 billion PPP Canada Fund.
The Kitikmeot Inuit Association owns the Nunavut Resources Corporation.
Charlie Evalik, Inuit association president, said in a statement, “We are very pleased that NRC has been able to play a key role in this initiative over the past two years on KIA’s behalf… (I)t is very satisfying when these sorts of results are achieved for the benefit of all Northerners and Inuit, regardless of their territory or province.”
Northquest aerial surveys Pistol Bay project
TIKIRARJUAQ/WHALE COVE - Northquest Ltd. (TSX.V:NQ) has begun an airborne magnetometer survey of property contained within its 860-square-kilometre Pistol Bay gold project near Whale Cove.
The survey will cover almost 7,000 km of survey lines over the west half of the Pistol Bay property, which had not yet been surveyed. Although no reserve estimate is associated with the project yet, it follows a trend parallel to Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine project.
This follows an approximately 3,500 metre drill program begun earlier this month to explore new targets and confirm results from previous drilling on the property.
Earlier this June, Russian mining giant Nord Gold N.V. took a 22.3 per cent interest in Northquest for $2.5 million. Nord Gold has nine producing gold mines and several development projects in five countries on three continents, not including its investment in Northquest.
Nunavut Resources Corp expands holdings
NUNAVUT - In an alliance with Nunavut Resources Corporation, Transition Metals Corp. (TSX.V:XTM) has added 433 square kilometres of exploration properties to its portfolio. The properties are along the Izok-Grays Bay development corridor. They were acquired through the the execution of a Mineral Exploration Agreement with Nunavut Tunnagavik Inc.