Federal ministers have agreed with the Nunavut Impact Review Board that a proposal for a latest diamond mine within the territory should undergo a public review.
De Beers Canada Inc. is searching for to construct its Chidliak diamond mine on the Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island, about 120 kilometres northwest of Iqaluit.
The corporate says it plans to make use of a FutureSmart Mining approach to cut back environmental impacts.
The impact review board has highlighted that De Beers proposes to make use of latest technologies like distant mining and operation of vehicles, in addition to a modular nuclear reactor, which it says haven’t yet been well demonstrated within the Arctic.
Several organizations and government departments have expressed concerns in regards to the project’s potential impacts on caribou, polar bears and traditional Inuit harvesting and land use.
In a screening decision in November, the board concluded the proposal requires a full environmental review to evaluate potential eco-systemic and socio-economic impacts.
Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal and other federal ministers said Tuesday in a letter to the board that they agree.
“I appreciate the work that the board has done in screening the project proposal,” the letter states. “The responsible ministers have the utmost confidence within the board to conduct a rigorous review of the project proposal.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 16, 2023.