by Greg Klein | April 11, 2016
Five days of meetings beginning April 11 would allow a Nunavut diamond explorer to discuss plans, seek community advice and collaborate on a wildlife and environment monitoring and mitigation plan, Dunnedin Ventures TSXV:DVI announced. The gatherings have been planned for Chesterfield Inlet and Rankin Inlet, two hamlets in the vicinity of the company’s Kahuna project.
Dunnedin stated its current exploration permit remains valid for the 13,000-hectare project until mid-2017. But in December the company applied for a multi-year permit. Last week the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended the project be modified or abandoned.
That followed criticism from the Kivalliq Inuit Association and the Aqigiq Hunters and Trappers Organization who “cited concerns over Dunnedin’s lack of community consultation and its limited transparency with community organizations,” the Nunatsiaq News reported April 7.
The NIRB recommendation goes to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for a decision.
Dunnedin stated that NIRB recommended the company meet with local communities, explain its plans and seek advice including traditional knowledge that could be incorporated into exploration proposals. An updated application would then be reviewed by the federal government “to determine if it is acceptable as submitted, requires further changes or should be resubmitted,” the company added.
CEO Chris Taylor apologized “for not having yet consulted with all community members at the time of our application’s submission. We look forward to building meaningful relationships with both communities, and to integrating local knowledge into our application to ensure an effective and responsible program.”
The review process heard concerns about conditions at a project abandoned by the now-defunct Shear Minerals. Dunnedin emphasized it “has no legacy or current involvement with the site, but is sympathetic with these concerns and has included up-to-date best practices in its exploration permit application.”
Last month the company reported recovery of 36 commercial-sized diamonds from a 2.4-tonne sample that had about 40% processing complete. Dunnedin planned to have till samples analysed to guide exploration before processing the rest of the 2.4-tonne sample.
Using a 0.85-millimetre cutoff, a 2015 inferred resource for two kimberlite dykes at Kahuna totalled 4.02 million carats.