Contractor agrees to ensure workforce is more than 80 per cent Inuit
Feds pay for defunct silver mine cleanup
Two abandoned mines near Cambridge Bay will be cleaned up over the next two years, after the federal government awarded a $7.3 million contract to Quantum Murray LP, a British Columbia company.
As a part of the contract, the company needs to hire Inuit for over 80 per cent of the project's workforce to clean up the Roberts Bay and Ida Bay silver mine sites.
A 2005 study of the sites, 155 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, found contaminated soil, waste rock, flood tunnels, tailings, and hazardous materials, such as old equipment coated with lead-based paint, which are all remnants from gold and silver mining activities that ended more than 15 years ago.
The workers are expected to excavate and remove contaminated soil, blast and collapse tunnels and demolish a few remaining buildings.
Work on the site is to begin in 2008 and end in 2009. The area will be monitored for the following 25 years.
"This new contract demonstrates our government's commitment to cleaning up contaminated sites in Nunavut," said Chuck Strahl, the federal Indian affairs minister, on Nov. 19.
In 1964, the Roberts Mining Company began exploration of the Roberts Bay and Ida Bay area in search of precious metals and other minerals. Mining began in 1966 and continued for about 30 years before the mine was closed in the 1990s.