Glencore delays submission of Hackett River DEIS
Mining company points to volatile metal prices, delays draft environmental impact statement
Volatile metal prices have delayed the submission of a draft environmental impact statement for Glencore’s proposed Hackett River mine, a zinc-silver project based in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region.
News from the project, located about 75 kilometres southwest of Bathurst Inlet, has been slow to come since the mining company bought the Kitikmeot properties from Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. in 2011.
The project’s draft EIS was originally due this December, but now Glencore says it can’t say when that will happen.
“Developing a project of this nature is a complex task and we continue to evaluate this project from a number of angles so that we can maximize the socio-economic benefits while minimizing any potential environmental impacts,” Glencore’s Michel Boucher wrote to the Nunavut Impact Review Board this past October.
Boucher said the delay is due to “uncertain economic growth and volatile metal prices.”
The Hackett River project includes three main silver-rich zinc deposits: Main Zone, Boot, and East Cleaver, as well as the Jo Zone satellite deposit.
The project is considered one of the largest volcanogenic massive sulfide ore (VMS) deposits in Canada, and possibly the world.
After its purchase in 2011, Glencore committed to invest $40 million into advanced exploration at the site.
At the time, the four open-pit and two underground mines at Hackett River were expected to produce 250,000 tonnes of zinc per year over 15 years, provide 800 jobs during construction and 500 when operating.
The zinc would be shipped out through the Northwest Passage, past Resolute Bay and down the west coast of Baffin Island to Europe.