Canada invests $5.1M on Arctic mine access road, aerial surveys

The proposed all-season access corridor through the Slave Geological Province region is a two-lane gravel road that’s about 413 kilometres long, according to the government website in Canada’s Northwest Territories. (Government of the N.W.T.)
The government of Canada and the government of the Northwest Territories announced on Monday they plan to spend nearly $3.4 million on preliminary work for a proposed all-season road to a region of the Northwest Territories believed to be rich in minerals.

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is putting about $2.7 million toward the development of the Slave Geological Province Access Corridor project, while the territorial government is investing $678,000, according to a government news release.

Those investments are among the $5.1 million in government money that was announced on Monday for two projects related to resource development in the Northwest Territories.

The Slave Geological Province is an area in eastern N.W.T. where the territory’s three operating diamond mines are located.

CanNor is also investing about $2.4 million on mapping and aerial surveys of the area, with the N.W.T. government investing $280,000 and industry partners investing $749,000.

Paul Lefebvre, parliamentary secretary to the minister of natural resources, and the N.W.T.’s Minister of Infrastructure and Industry Wally Schumann made the announcement at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto.

Last April, the territorial government said in a news release that the federal government didn’t approve the first round of funding submissions for the Slave Geological Province project.

Reduced operating costs, exploration boost

The proposed all-season access corridor through the region is a two-lane gravel road that’s about 413 kilometres long, according to the government’s website.

The road would connect major mines in the territory and, the hope is, ultimately to a deep-water port in western Nunavut, it said.

According to the government, the Slave Geological Province “has significant untapped mineral potential,” including large base metal deposits. Improved access to mines would reduce operating costs, boost mineral exploration and development and even help develop the Taltson Hydro expansion project, it said.

“The [N.W.T. government] continues to make investments in priority projects such as the Slave Geological Province Corridor that have the potential to make transformative impacts in the territory,” said Minister Wally Schumann, in the news release.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada’s northern territories among world’s most attractive mining regions for investors, survey says, CBC News

Finland: Stricter mining regulations and oversight needed in the Arctic, Finnish report says, Yle News

Norway: Mining waste dump project in Norwegian fjord worries Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Russian miners dig deeper into vast Kola nickel reserve, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Iron mine in northern Sweden to restart production, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Mining company boosts spending to lobby U.S. government for contested Alaska project, Alaska Public Media

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