Locals call for Back River review
Last updated 9/4/2016 at Noon
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. Aug. 30 provided a permitting update on its Back River gold project in Nunavut.
A June report by the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada not to advance the Back River project to the next phase of permitting at this time.
Sabina submitted an extensive response to the NIRB Report to the minister and requested that the minister either reject the report or send it back to NIRB for further review.
Kitikmeot Inuit Association, which is the designated Inuit organization responsible for the lands and the people of the Kitikmeot Region where Back River is located, and the Government of Nunavut have both requested that the project be returned to NIRB for further review.
"KIA agrees that Sabina has proposed to conduct careful and comprehensive caribou monitoring and mitigation programs based in a Wildlife Mitigation and Monitoring Plan and a Wildlife Effects Monitoring Plan.
While KIA said it is satisfied with these plans, the organization also noted that the plans were only finalized during the hearing and these final details were the subject of a joint submission by Sabina, KIA and the Government of Nunavut on the final day of the hearing.
"Unfortunately, that meant the [NIRB] Board did not have the benefit of a full airing of these revised plans," KIA President Stanley Anablak penned in a letter to the minister.
In its letter to the federal minister, the Nunavut government said sending the report "back to the NIRB for further review and public hearings may be the most responsible and expeditious way forward, and the one that provides the best opportunity to advance responsible development to provide economic opportunities for Nunavut's communities while respecting Inuit societal values and protecting the integrity of our land, water and wildlife." Sabina said its extensive engagement in the Kitikmeot region have resulted in continued broad support for Back River as evidenced by the many letters to the minister in favor of the project.