N.W.T. government signs off on Ekati mine Jay pipe expansion

The Northwest Territories government has signed off on the Ekati mine's Jay Pipe expansion, a new open pit that could help keep Ekati producing diamonds until 2033.

Project will still need permits before starting construction

Dominion Diamond Corporation says the new open pit mining the Jay pipe could help keep Ekati producing diamonds until 2033. (Dominion Diamond Corporation )

The Northwest Territories government has signed off on the Ekati mine's Jay Pipe expansion, a new open pit that could help keep Ekati producing diamonds until 2033.

Lands minister Robert C. McLeod wrote to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review board Thursday saying the government accepts the board's recommendations.

In February, the board recommended approving the project with conditions to minimize its impact on the environment. 

The board's required 22 measures include:

  • improving the design and use of the roads to minimize impacts to caribou
  • minimizing dust from road use
  • funding an elders group to advise on the construction, operation and monitoring of the Jay road
  • offsetting remaining impacts to caribou from the Jay Project by implementing mitigation, such as modifying traffic patterns and road closures, at other areas of the Ekati mine site
  • ensuring clean surface waters at the Jay and Misery pits so the area can be used for aboriginal traditional uses after the Jay Project closes
  • preventing impacts to the Narrows

Now that the project's environmental review has been approved, Ekati's owner Dominion Diamond Corporation can apply for the permits to begin construction.

Dominion Diamond hopes to start mining the Jay pit in 2021.

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