Final chapter for Yellowknife's Giant Mine
There will be no more mining at one of Canada's longest running-gold mines after a federal cabinet order withdrawing mineral rights at Giant Mine.
The move was made to avoid prospectors from staking claims to the mining property.
The department of Indian and Northern Affairs is now cleaning up the contamination left after more than 50 years of gold mining. That includes 237,000 tonnes of toxic arsenic trioxide dust stored underground at the mine.
Indian Affairs plans to submit a clean-up plan to regulators in December.
In the meantime, the company operating Giant Mine is sliding into bankruptcy. Giantco was the shell company formed by Miramar Mining Corporation. Miramar started mining at Giant in late 1999, after former owner, Royal Oak, went into receivership.
"It was always envisaged that the company would be wound up, because it was created specifically for the purpose of operating Giant mine and looking after the care and maintenance," says Bill Mitchell, the federal official overseeing the clean up of the gold mine.
Giantco was to have paid roughly $200,000 in royalties that Royal Oak left owing. The money is still outstanding, even though taxpayers paid the company $300,000 per month for care and maintenance of the mine.
Mitchell said Miramar is not liable for any of Giantco's debts.