The Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.'s Whale Tail gold deposit, located about 50 kilometres north of the Meadowbank gold mine, was signed on June 15, by the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) and Agnico Eagle Mines (AEM) in Baker Lake. AEM plans to begin open-pit operations at Whale Tail in 2019.
The IIBA includes a $6.5 million payment to the KIA, which included $3 million paid to a community initiative fund on June 15.
The agreement also provides payment of 1.4 per cent on net gold production, $3.6 million for annual training programs, and a preference point system to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. registered companies. An additional $1 million in training investment will be provided if Inuit employment goals are not met.
KIA president David Ningeongan stated in a press release that the KIA has striven to balance the need to protect the environment with the promotion of economic development. Ningeongan said the KIA has worked hard to ensure the IIBA works for the benefit of Inuit in the Kivalliq region, and that it is another step toward a better future for Inuit of Nunavut.
Ore from the Whale Tail deposit will be milled at the Meadowbank mine. AEM expects to spend $1.2 billion US developing the Whale Tail and Meliadine (near Rankin Inlet) projects during the next three years.
The company expects about $66 million per year in payroll to reach Kivalliq communities once both mines are operating, with an additional $500 million per year in goods-and-services contracts. The Whale Tail and Meliadine deposits are expected to extend operations at Meadowbank by 14 years.
The Qulliq Energy Corp. (QEC) is now accepting applications for its annual Laura Ulluriaq Gauthier Scholarship. Nunavummiut students enrolled in a post-secondary-education program for the September 2017 semester are eligible to apply. The successful candidate will be chosen based on a strong academic record and outstanding community involvement. Applications for the $5000 scholarship will be accepted until June 30.
Rankin Inlet's Jordin Tootoo was among a group of Northerners to be honoured in a ceremony recognizing outstanding indigenous leadership at Ottawa's Rideau Hall earlier this month. Tootoo received the Meritorious Service Medal during the ceremony for his ongoing efforts in Nunavut to promote healthy living and to encourage conversations about difficult topics such as addictions and suicide.