Environmental hearing adjourned for N.W.T. project

The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board has adjourned a hearing into the NICO mining project.
Fortune Minerals is developing a mine about 160 kilometres north of Yellowknife. (fortuneminerals.com)


Hearings on Fortune Mineral's proposed NICO mine project in the N.W.T have been adjourned until this fall.

Fortune Minerals wants to build the gold, cobalt, copper and bismuth mine on Tlicho lands about 160 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife. The company says the project holds a host of benefits for the Tlicho people.

The mine would create hundreds of jobs, as well as business opportunities, for 19 years or more the company has said.

Hearings on the proposed mine were held by Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board this past week in several communities. They wrapped up for the week in Behchoko, Northwest Territories, on Friday.

Many of the questions there focused on Fortune's plans to use man-made wetlands to help treat water at the site.

Rick Schryer, Fortune Mineral’s director of environmental affairs, said the plans will not damage the area traditionally used by the Tlicho.

"We did the modelling with and without wetlands and we found no difference in risk. The water quality issues aren't that severe," Schryer said.

"The water in the Marion River will be the same for people to use as it is today. And that's the bottom line," he said.

The four days of hearings were not enough to answer all of the questions people had. The review board has promised to come back to Behchoko for two more days in October.

Those hearings will include traditional knowledge studies the Tlicho have done on the project.

Community leaders had complained the board was ignoring information critical to the environmental review.