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Future uncertain for new NWT mining projects –

De Beers Gahcho Kue diamond mine and Avalon’s Nechalacho rare earth deposit affected

Sep 30, 2013

De Beers and Avalon Rare Metals have come across unexpected hurdles in trying to bring two major mining projects in the Northwest Territories to life. The former’s GahchoKue diamond mine and the latter’s Nechalachorare earth project have been recommended for approval.

The companies have negotiated Impact and Benefit Agreements with two aboriginal groups in the area. But now four aboriginal groups who say they haven’t been given IBAs for Gahcho Kue are demanding further review, and two are saying the same about Nechalacho.

Impact Benefits Agreements spell out how First Nations will benefit from nearby mining projects. Mitch Bloom with the federal Northern Projects Management Office says IBAs are private contracts — and completely distinct from binding environmental reviews of resource projects.

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