We didn’t flunk out, CanZinco says


On the front page of the July 12, 2002, edition of your newspaper there was an article dealing with the closure of the Nanisivik mine and the effort suggested by CanZinco Ltd., the owners of Nanisivik, to clean up the site once mining and milling operations have come to an end.

While we have, for the most part, been quite impressed with the coverage that your newspaper has given this story in the past few months, we must take strong exception with at least two points made in the article.

First, the closure plan that CanZinco filed on February 28, 2002, did not receive a failing grade. This is not a simple test that you either pass or fail, nor is it a simple issue that can be categorized as black or white. The filing of our closure plan was the first step in a long and complex process that offers a number of regulatory bodies at both levels of government, as well as other interested parties, the opportunity to ask questions.

The fact that those questions are asked in written form and were made available to the general public prior to the public hearings scheduled in Arctic Bay is a matter of convenience only, and is designed to bring some measure of decorum to the proceedings. However, you and your readers should not misconstrue that the asking of questions, and admittedly there are a lot of questions, is tantamount to a failing grade.

Second, your article seems to rely heavily on the more sensational of the questions asked by the regulators and other intervening parties. In total, among the various reports filed by intervening parties, there are approximately 100 printed pages of material, not including appendices, much of which represent questions in response to our closure plan. Most of these questions are technical issues that are not particularly controversial or sensational. Most of the questions are requests for additional reports, maps and plans that are referenced in our closure plan but may not already be in the hands of all the regulators.

We know that newspapers are limited by the amount of space that they can dedicate to one story, but it would be our view that the story presented with us would have been more balanced had you focused at least some of your attention on these less spectacular issues.

As was indicated earlier, for the most part we have been impressed with the coverage of Nunatsiaq News on this story, which is important to the people of Nunavut. In particular, we have been impressed with the sensitivity shown by your newspaper to the people of Arctic Bay and their desire to have a third party assume some sort of role at Nanisivik and ensure that the infrastructure in place is maintained. CanZinco has been working diligently to promote third-party involvement in keeping this community in the North active, alive and contributing to the development of Nunavut.

With respect to this story, though, we feel that we must assign you a failing grade.

Bill Heath
Vice President
CanZinco Ltd.

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