Nunavut signs deal with mining company on trades curriculum
High schools to team up with Agnico-Eagle to develop mining and trades-related curriculum
Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak signed a memorandum of understanding with mining company Agnico-Eagle on Wednesday to develop its high school trades curriculum to help prepare students for careers in trades and mining.
Agnico-Eagle operates the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, and is working to develop its Meliadine property near Rankin Inlet into another mine.
Aariak said the details of the new partnership with Agnico-Eagle are still being worked out, but the goal is to develop mine and trades-related curriculum and career development activities.
She said there are opportunities for Nunavummiut in mining, so it makes sense for schools to team up with companies.
"Of course, Nunavut Arctic College is also working with another mining company, Baffinland, so we are taking opportunities that are out there, that are willing to help us grow into something that will be greatly needed in our territory," she said.
Nunavut Arctic College is offering a new Environmental Technology diploma, thanks to a contribution from Baffinland Iron Mines. As part of the program, students take a course designed by, and for, Baffinland at its Mary River site.
Agnico-Eagle here for the long haul, says chair
Jim Nasso, chair of Agnico-Eagle Mines, said his company is in Nunavut for the long-haul and downplayed Agnico-Eagle's financial problems, and the high cost of operating its Meadowbank mine.
"We march through these problems as we have and will continue to do at Meadowbank," he said.
"It's getting better at Meadowbank, and it'll get better at Meliadine, and I think we're setting a good example. I'm sure we're being watched by other companies, and we've had a modicum of success here, and I think we'll attract other business. I see a bright future for this territory."
Earlier this year, Agnico-Eagle said it would close the Meadowbank mine in 2017, three years earlier than expected.
The company has said that it costs $700 to produce an ounce of gold at Meadowbank. By comparison, it cost the company $54 to produce an ounce at its Laronde mine in Quebec.