Nunavut mine pit expansion awaits ministry approval

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The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) has given a green light to the expansion of an open mine pit at Agnico Eagle mine Ltd.’s Meadowbank gold mine near Baker lake.

Vault Pit, located about eight kilometres northeast of Meadowbank, is one of three pits currently being mined on the Kivalliq site. Vault Pit will require significant work, including the dewatering of Phaser lake, an estimated volume of 700,000 cubic metres. Transferring the fish to another body of water is expected to begin later this year, if the project goes ahead.

Agnico Eagle hopes to extract just over 400,000 tonnes of ore from the expansion of the pit, in addition to the 29.8 million tonnes already approved for extraction from the Meadowbank site over its lifetime.

The NIRB’s hearing report and recommendation will be forwarded to the federal minister of indigenous and northern Affairs who will make the final decision on the expansion.

Agnico Eagle hopes to begin mining the new pits in 2017.