Challenges and Opportunities
The Territory of Nunavut was formed as a result of a land claims settlement. The Inuit are the land owners and the process of environmental assessment and permitting is legislated through the Nunavut Land Claims Act. Mineral resource development is important to Nunavut. The development of mining projects in the West Kitikmeot region has far reaching impacts not only for our shareholders, but for the government and constituents of the Territory. TMAC's current mine concept at Hope Bay envisions production in late 2016. Back River is also progressing through development and engineering studies. Both of these projects provide significant opportunities for employment and training in the region. The development of these mines would open up a region and provides opportunities for other projects to come on line.
As more large resource projects push towards development, the challenges of operating in the North become more apparent. As critical mass builds and requirements for infrastructure and energy become the defining line items in a mine plan, opportunities present themselves for partnerships between industry and government.
As it was with the Timmins and Kirkland Lake belts in their infancy, the infrastructure that we now see around those world class mining districts in Ontario and Quebec grew because of development. As has been demonstrated by Agnico-Eagle's Meadow Bank project, as projects become large enough to sustain initial development, create jobs, and become economic, infrastructure to serve these operations begins to grow around them: investments and partnerships between the constituents of the land, industry and government evolve into sustainable development.