Newmont puts Hope Bay gold project on hold

Newmont announced Tuesday that all work at the Hope Bay project in Nunavut will be postponed indefinitely while the project is under review.

Newmont Mining Corporation is putting its plans for the Hope Bay gold project near Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, on hold.

Last month, the company announced expanded plans for its project that would have meant new airstrips, all-weather roads, hundreds of jobs, and a new Inuit Impact and Benefit agreement with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

The company announced Tuesday that all development and exploration work will be postponed indefinitely while the project is under review.

Chris Hanks, vice-president of Environmental Affairs for Hope Bay Mining, a Newmont subsidiary, said in a news release that employees, contractors, government officials and regulatory bodies have been or are being notified.

Hanks told CBC News the project has been disappointing.

"We are not satisifed with the geological package we've put together at this time," he said. 

"And as all projects do, we are competing globally for capital, and Newmont has other places it wishes to put its capital right now. So Hope Bay has fallen down the line a little ways."

There's no word on how many jobs will be lost. Hanks says just over 200 employees and contractors are working at the site.

The company has approved "care and maintenance funding" for the Hope Bay site.

They'll leave a skeleton crew in place to meet environmental and safety standards while work is at a standstill.

Hanks said the plans for the project's expansion are still before regulators as the company is looking several years ahead.