Kitikmeot Inuit org pumps $1 million into joint mineral exploration effort
"The seed funding from KIA demonstrates Inuit commitment to taking a leadership role in resource development"
CAMBRIDGE BAY — The Nunavut Resources Corp., the first Inuit-owned mining development company, has received a commitment for $1 million from the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
And, with its partner HTX Minerals Corp., the NRC plans to start mineral exploration activity, a Sept. 26 news release said.
“The seed funding from KIA demonstrates Inuit commitment to taking a leadership role in resource development,” said Charlie Evalik, the chairman of the NRC and president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
The NRC will now seek to raise a minimum of $18 million for exploration within the Kitkmeot region.
The money, which will be administered by NRC Exploration Ltd., the exploration arm of NRC, will be primarily used for 2012-2013 mineral project generation and exploration in the 447,000 square kilometres in western Nunavut.
Much of the initial focus will be on unstaked portions of the 11,509 sq. km. of Inuit owned land (surface and mineral rights) in the Kitikmeot region, and on Article 41 Lands in the Northwest Territories, 360 km northwest of Yellowknife.
The Article 41 Lands, a 572-km-sq. area in the NWT, were granted to the KIA as part of the boundary reconciliation between the NWT and Nunvaut.
Just to the south of the Article 41 Lands are the Ekati and Diavik diamond mines, while to the north, lie the Lupin gold mine and the base metal deposits at Gondor and Izok Lake.
With HTX, the NRC hopes to speed up discovery of deposits that could lead to more infrastructure such as roads, ports, power stations and other facilities, which are required to support mining activities
The move comes as a result of a strategic alliance NRC signed in March 2012 with HTX.
The $1 million “allows us to begin generating exploration projects that will also help further demonstrate the immense potential of the region and our alliance strategy,” Evalik said.
“Our alliance with HTX Minerals, and the investment in it, will help accelerate the discovery of economic ore deposits and could lead to employment and business opportunities, much greater investments in infrastructure, and training.”
The announcement from KIA comes just days before the annual general meeting is set to start in Cambridge Bay on Oct. 2
The KIA, which is constructing a large new office building in Cambridge Bay, has also hired a new business development coordinator, John Main, who formerly worked as the economic development officer for Arviat and as a broadcaster for CBC North.