Audio

De Beers starts environmental studies at Attawapiskat mine

De Beers is moving ahead with environmental studies on expanding its diamond mine in Attawapiskat.
If DeBeers goes ahead with an expansion to its Victor Mine, there could be a renegotiating of the impact benefit agreement with the Attawapiskat First Nation.

De Beers is moving ahead with environmental studies on expanding its diamond mine in Attawapiskat.

Company spokesman Tom Ormsby said this is still early days, but he said there have been preliminary discussions with the Cree community about what this project, called the "Tango" extension would mean.

"We're committed to staying the course here with the community and hopefully extending this mine."

DeBeers spokesman Tom Ormsby says the proposed Tango expansion project is a long way from being a mine. (De Beers)

Ormsby said De Beers and Attawapiskat appear to have moved past tensions related to roadblocks of the existing Victor mine from last winter.

He says if the diamond mining company goes ahead with this new project, there could be a re-negotiating of the impact benefit agreement with the James Bay first nation.

"We're not there yet. We hope to make this go, but there's still some hurdles we need to accomplish to get various approvals and the final data to say 'Yes, this is going to be economic’,” Ormsby said.

If all goes well, he said, mining at the Tango site near Attawapiskat would begin in 2018.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.