Mine project in Canada’s Northwest Territories approved by environmental review board

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The board decided “that while the NICO Project has the potential to cause significant adverse impacts to the environment . . . the measures it has recommended to the minister will ensure Fortune Minerals project located 160 km northwest of Yellowknife

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Review Board recommended Fortune Minerals’ NICO mine go ahead in its report released Friday afternoon.

The primarily open-pit cobalt, gold, bismuth and copper mine would be located approximately 160 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife, the capital of Canada’s Northwest Territories, and 50 kilometres northeast of the aboriginal community of Whati.

The board decided “that while the NICO Project has the potential to cause significant adverse impacts to the environment . . . the measures it has recommended to the minister will ensure that no significant adverse impacts will result from the development.”

Alphonse Nitsiza, chief of Whati, said even though the mine may bring jobs and business to his community, he’s worried about its potential environmental effects.

“Most people were concerned about the downstream effects…the water and the fact that the company is trying to use the new method of water treatment,” he said.

Fortune Minerals plans to use man-made wetlands to help treat water at the site.

The report now goes to the federal and Tlicho governments for final approval.

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