Nickel mine moves closer to reality


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ANOTHER hurdle has been cleared for development of the country's largest undeveloped nickel deposit.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/04/2011 (4382 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

ANOTHER hurdle has been cleared for development of the country’s largest undeveloped nickel deposit.

The provincial government and Norway House Cree Nation have agreed on terms of a consultation protocol for mining development in the First Nation’s traditional territory.

The protocol gives Norway House input on development of Victory Nickel’s Minago Project — a $500-million open-pit mine project located halfway between Grand Rapids and Ponton near Highway 6.

“The protocol provides a mechanism to voice our concerns,” acting chief Nick Saunders said in a statement. Band officials said the protocol is not perfect and they would continue negotiations with Victory Nickel for an impact-benefit agreement. Norway House is the last of four First Nations whose traditional territory overlaps the mining site to agree to protocol terms for mineral exploration in the area.

Norway House Cree Nation is located about 850 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

The mining project, which one provincial official described as having the potential to be “spectacular,” still faces key financial hurdles.

Victory Nickel is a Toronto-based junior exploration company with no revenues. The company has spent $30 million over 10 years developing the property and it will need to raise $500 million to open the mine.

However, preliminary reports indicate the venture will not generate the interest expected from investors.

Even if Victory Nickel can find the capital, it will still need federal environmental and operating permits before construction can begin.

A statement from Norway House said the time limits contained in the protocol agreement provide a short time frame for completing the consultations. The band also said Ottawa has not provided an adequate amount of funds to develop a comprehensive land-use plan.

“We have agreed in good faith, however, to proceed with this Minago specific consultation protocol,” Coun. Dennis Day said in a statement. “The protection of natural resources is a very serious concern for NHCN and must be kept in the forefront of consideration by all parties.”

Mine your business

VICTORY Nickel Inc.’s Minago Project between Grand Rapids and Ponton:

281.2 million kilograms — size of the “measured and indicated” nickel resource, making it the largest undeveloped nickel deposit in Canada

$500 million — capital cost to establish the open-pit mine

600 — number of construction jobs created to open the mine

400 — number of jobs created to operate the open-pit mine

7 — anticipated lifespan of the mine

— Source: a preliminary economic assessment completed in 2006

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