New legislation bodes well for more mining development in Nunavut
Federal government’s new bill enhances assessment and permitting process
for mining projects
OTTAWA, Nov. 6, 2012 /CNW/ – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
welcomes the federal government’s tabling of Bill C-47 today,
particularly the inclusion of the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act, as it could help spur more responsible mining projects in the
territory, which currently has one operating mine.
The bill will result in a framework to determine how environmental
assessment and permitting processes in Nunavut will proceed as new land
use plans for the territory come forward.
“The legislation comes at a critical time for Nunavut, with its
promising mineral potential and opportunities for economic development
never before seen in the territory’s history,” said Pierre Gratton,
MAC’s President and CEO. “The new regulatory regime will help to
enhance the territory’s economic competitiveness for mineral
investment, while ensuring projects go through a robust assessment and
Over the next decade, MAC estimates that new mine development across
Canada’s North could bring in more than $8 billion in investment. For
Nunavut, this could translate into some 4,500 new jobs and a
significant increase local business development.
“By providing clarity and certainty around the regulatory framework,
this new legislation will help give industry the confidence it needs to
move forward with development decisions,” said Gratton. “This
legislation recognizes the industry’s major role in the future economic
development of Nunavut.”
Nunavut’s only operating mine, Agnico-Eagle’s Meadowbank Gold Mine,
demonstrates the positive economic and social benefits the project has
had on the region in terms of much-needed employment, skills training
and local business development. Since the mine opened in 2010,
Nunavut’s GDP has increased by 12 per cent, primarily due to the impact
of the Meadowbank mine. The mine currently employs more than 750
permanent employees, 36 per cent of which are Inuit.
Agnico-Eagle also signed a historic agreement with the Kivalliq Inuit
Association and has established an Inuit Impact Benefit Agreement that
provides funding for education and skills development, with the
objective of maximizing Inuit employment and business opportunities. In
2011, 57 per cent of all development and operational spending went to
Nunavut businesses, totalling $190 million.
The new legislation is the result of a broad and thoughtful approach to
stakeholder engagement undertaken by the Government of Canada. MAC was
involved since the bill’s early stages of development, and participated
in several rounds of a multi-stakeholder process to provide industry’s
input on the legislation.
Bill C-47 also includes the Northwest Territories Surface Rights Board Act, which also makes amendments to the Yukon Surface Rights Board Act. These amendments will also aim to increase efficiencies and improve
processes to support further economic growth in Canada’s North.
The Mining Association of Canada is the national organization for the
Canadian mining industry. Its members account for most of Canada’s
production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds,
metallurgical coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are
actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and
semi-fabrication. Please visit www.mining.ca.
SOURCE Mining Association of Canada (MAC)