Drilling crews are setting up camp this week at Hackett River south of Bathurst Inlet. They're looking for new deposits of zinc and other metals.

They're planning to use five diamond drills through to October in the ongoing hunt for zinc, lead and copper concentrate, which may contain silver and gold.

Xstrata Zinc Canada recently bought the Hackett property from Sabina Silver and the two companies are working jointly to revive the Bathurst port and road project, a key part of the Hackett River mine project. "Ideally we would like to have the mine project open within a few years, and in order to facilitate that, we would like to try to advance the port and road project as much as we can," said Xstrata spokesman Brad Ryder.

Xstrata is a global mining company with 8,000 employees in Canada. Later this year, the company intends to close down its flagship zinc mine in Bathurst, New Brunswick after 48 years of production. Ryder says they're aggressively looking for a new zinc deposit that will keep the company's smelters running. Xstrata plans to submit a new project description of the proposed port and road to the Nunavut Impact Review Board shortly. That will determine what's required in a draft environmental impact statement.