Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 16, 2017 - 8:00 am

Nunavut Inuit org signs benefits bonanza with gold miner

Benefits agreement signing with Agnico Eagle brings $6.5 million cheque

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Agnico Eagle Ltd. and Kivalliq Inuit officials sign an Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Whale Tail gold mine project June 15 in Baker Lake. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AGNICO EAGLE)
Agnico Eagle Ltd. and Kivalliq Inuit officials sign an Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Whale Tail gold mine project June 15 in Baker Lake. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AGNICO EAGLE)
Ammar Al-Joundi, the president of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., and Kivalliq Inuit Association President David Ningeongan hold up a $6.5 million cheque June 15 in Baker Lake. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AGNICE EAGLE)
Ammar Al-Joundi, the president of Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., and Kivalliq Inuit Association President David Ningeongan hold up a $6.5 million cheque June 15 in Baker Lake. (PHOTO COURTESY OF AGNICE EAGLE)

The Kivalliq Inuit Association can count on seeing millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs coming to Inuit in Nunavut’s Kivalliq region after Agnico Eagle Ltd.‘s latest gold mining project starts up late in 2019.

That bonanza started to flow June 15 when the KIA received a $6.5 million cheque in Baker Lake from Agnico Eagle when the mining company and the KIA signed an Inuit impact and benefit agreement for the Whale Tail project, which will be Agnico Eagle’s third gold mine in Nunavut.

The project is located about 50 kilometres northwest of its Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake—Nunavut’s first gold mine, which started production in 2010 and is now reaching the end of its lifespan.

“We are proud to partner with KIA in our continued growth in Nunavut and in developing strong, sustainable communities in the Kivalliq Region. Only through combined partnership efforts will we achieve success and including our vision of seeing mines in Nunavut being operated and managed by Inuit,” said Ammar Al-Joundi, the president of Agnico Eagle in a June 15 news release from Agnico Eagle and the KIA.

The IIBA’s benefits include:

• $6.5 million payment to KIA, including $3 million towards a community fund, handed over June 15;

• resource royalties and fees paid to KIA and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. from the Whale Tail, Meadowbank and Meliadine projects, with the Whale Tail project providing KIA with a 1.4 per cent net smelter return on production;

• $3.6 million invested in annual training programs with an additional $1 million investment in the event that 50 per cent target for Inuit employment is not reached; and,

• preference points for NTI-registered companies to permit Inuit-owned businesses to compete more effectively with southern business.

As a satellite deposit to the Meadowbank mine, Whale Tail will use the existing mine infrastructure there—including mining equipment, mill, tailings, camp and airstrip—to begin open pit mining on the deposit by the end of 2019.

In July 2016 Agnico Eagle filed an environmental impact statement for the Whale Tail project with the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

That proposal is now working its way through the regulatory system, with a public hearing expected later in 2017 and a project certificate expected by the third quarter of 2018.

Agnico Eagle is expected to invest $1.2 billion USD over the next three years to develop Whale Tail and its Meliadine project, which together will employ about 700 Inuit.

Agnico Eagle already possesses all permits and licences required to build the Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet, having received a project certificate March 2015 from the NIRB.

In January 2016, the company completed the negotiation of a revised IIBA with the KIA on Meliadine.

The two mines are expected to bring in $66 million per year in payroll for Kivalliq communities and about $500 million per year in contracts for goods and services after 2019.

And from 1.4 per cent net smelter royalty, the KIA and NTI will receive roughly $450 million over 14 years.

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