Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut February 20, 2013 - 1:45 pm

Nunavut regulator asks feds, Inuit org for info on Shear Diamonds Ltd.

The mining company has not responded to repeated requests from the Nunavut Impact Review Board

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
The Nunavut Impact Review Board is trying to get more information about the status of the Jericho diamond mine which has not supplied the Nunavut regulator with information and materials requested months ago by the board. (FILE PHOTO)
The Nunavut Impact Review Board is trying to get more information about the status of the Jericho diamond mine which has not supplied the Nunavut regulator with information and materials requested months ago by the board. (FILE PHOTO)

A year ago the future for Shear Diamonds Ltd. looked bright.

Today, the website for Shear no longer loads, the telephone has been disconnected and the Nunavut Impact Review Board wants to know what’s happening.

The NIRB has not yet received information on the company’s Jericho project and other outstanding materials that the regulatory board first asked for months ago.

The signs of potential trouble at Jericho surfaced last August.

That’s when the NIRB first contacted Shear asking for outstanding reports, including the company’s 2010 and 2011 annual report, quarterly reports for 2010 and 2011, a wildlife monitoring and draft wildlife mitigation and monitoring plan and how Shear had addressed “issues of non-compliance” from the NIRB’s 2011 site visit.

Early last December, the NIRB wrote Shear again, asking that even more information and reports to be provided to the NIRB on or before Feb. 5.

On Feb. 19, due to Shear’s silence, the NIRB wrote Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association. seeking information about Shear’s compliance with “all licenses and/or permits” issued for the Jericho project by those organizations.

“As of the date of this letter, the Board has not received any materials as requested, nor any indication from the Proponent as to when such may be expected,” the NIRB wrote Feb. 19.

Last September, Shear admitted to challenges to its plan to get the Jericho mine back into operation. These included the loss of top people and a debt of about $3 million to the Belgian diamond firm Taché.

The company then announced Nov. 15 that its chief financial officer and two of its directors, Pamela Strand, who is also president of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, and David Prince, had resigned.

Shear then said it wanted to enter into “a transaction, whether financing, joint venture, sale or otherwise that will either allow Shear to advance its Jericho project or to otherwise realize value for Shear’s stakeholders.”

Shear, purchased the mine, located roughly 350 kilometres south of Cambridge Bay in 2010.

The Jericho mine, which operated from 2006 to 2008, was Nunavut’s first diamond mine.

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