Gold exploration company eyes new campsite near Whale Cove

Nordgold Northquest Ltd. estimates Pistol Bay project holds 1.58 million ounces of gold

A photo of Nordgold’s current campsite. A new site will allow the operation to run longer in the year, said project manager Dave Smith. (Photo courtesy of Dave Smith)

By David Lochead

The approval to relocate the campsite for a gold exploration project near Whale Cove could bring an increase of jobs in the area, says the project’s manager.

Nordgold Northquest Ltd. runs a gold exploration site called the Pistol Bay project, which currently operates between June and October. A relocated campsite would allow for exploration from March to October, said project manager Dave Smith.

The increase in operations could lead to an increase the amount of workers needed, he said.

Currently Nordgold hires between 13 to 14 Whale Cove residents, but a longer season might require a local workforce of 15 to 20 people.

The main reason the company wants to move its campsite is to seek better winter conditions. The current site gets buried with snow because it is beside a low-lying ridge and the nearby lake that freezes all the way to the bottom in winter, which makes accessing water difficult.

The proposed new campsite is 22 kilometres away from the hamlet, according to the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s summary of the project.

The hamlet has approved the move, Whale Cove senior administrative officer Brian Fleming confirmed.

Fleming said the project met the requirements the hamlet needed, and it doesn’t appear to pose risks to nearby water bodies or wildlife.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board’s summary of the project states the Issatik Hunters and Trappers Organization was also consulted.

A representative from Issatik HTO was unable to speak with Nunatsiaq News this week.

The Pistol Bay Project began in 2011. Currently, Nordgold says it has found an estimated open pit resource of 1.58 million ounces of gold at the site. Smith says a range of 2.5 million ounces to 3 million ounces is mineable.

Smith added the exploration stage for mining can take decades, citing the Mary River iron ore deposit, which was discovered in the 1960s but only began to be mined in 2014.

The public commenting period for the relocation of the exploration site began on Nov. 18. The commenting period ends on Dec. 9.

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    So they finally found that place 🙁

    • Posted by Karboneater on

      Uh-huh, to bad it took Russian folks to find it first.

  2. Posted by Andrew Akerolik on

    Be lots of negative impacts on land, water and most of all wildlife, nirb and mines no concerns about what Nunavut beneficiaries say and speak. I hope someone soon makes nirb accountable and take action.

  3. Posted by Save the world on

    Don’t take from the land that provides us you guys are the reason why we are in a huge climate change! Seriously this world wanting money from the ground they don’t even know what it is doing to the earth please stop the mining this need to go for the world to before we turn in to like Vancouver bc

  4. Posted by Lifelong Nunavut Resident on

    We are doing much more damage than any development. Mines don’t slaughter animals. They have some impact but that is to be expected with any human activity. This is precisely why we are NIRB, NWB, NPC, etc – we are totally overregulated but that’s another topic. We are like the whalers of old, killing at every opportunity for profit. Caribou numbers are down 40-50% and we are slaughtering wildlife (caribou, narwhales, etc) at every opportunity.

  5. Posted by Gary Ippiak on

    If I’d like to try for employment where can I send my resume

  6. Posted by Watch on

    Watch AEM buy it if it’s feasible for them lol

  7. Posted by Terry Dobbin on

    So we don’t want mining activity in Nunavut. Then stop using your snowmobiles and I-phones and tablets if that’s the case. Almost everything we rely on today in Canada is mined. Where do you think the metals used to produce a snowmobile comes from? From the snowmobile engine down to the spark plugs. There are at least 20 mined minerals used to produce a snow machine.
    Could we not all envision a future for Nunavut where development will be sustainable, and the environment will be protected at the same time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be either/or. If managed properly, Nunavummiut doesn’t necessarily have to miss out on the benefits from resource development. Both responsible resource development and protecting and sustaining the environment and building healthier communities can co-exist in Nunavut.

  8. Posted by Mining on

    Crazy they’re is 35,000 mines in the world you guys must be so happy that they are finding gold image living on a another planet and mine that much see what is going to happen to it. Literally mining needs to stop or else the climate is just gunna get worse.

  9. Posted by Louis Oroluk on

    I’m interested to work for gold exploration company ..

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