Note: Chinese investment in Canadian mega-projects is nothing new. Plan Nord, an $80 billion mining, logging and hydroelectricity project in northern Quebec will rely heavily on Chinese and other foreign investment. As reported by GJEP and Rising Tide Vermont this past July, during the 36th Annual Conference of New England Governor’s and Eastern Canada Premiers, indigenous Innu and Abenaki representatives were denied access to the conference at the same time Chinese investors were meeting inside with the governors and premiers. In Canada-and the US-money speaks louder than rights.
-The GJEP Team
By Bob Weber, December 30, 2012. Source: The Tyee
Some time in the new year, four federal ministers are to decide how to conduct an environmental review for the Izok Corridor proposal. It could bring many billions of dollars into the Arctic but would also see development of open-pit mines, roads, ports and other facilities in the centre of calving grounds for the fragile Bathurst caribou herd.
“This is going to be the biggest issue,” said Sally Fox, a spokeswoman for proponent MMG Minerals, a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned Minmetals Resources Ltd.
It would be hard to exaggerate the proposal’s scope. Centred at Izok Lake, about 260 kilometres southeast of Kugluktuk, the project would stretch throughout a vast swath of western Nunavut.
Izok Lake would have five separate underground and open-pit mines producing lead, zinc and copper. Another site at High Lake, 300 kilometres to the northeast, would have another three mines.
MMG also wants a processing plant that could handle 6,000 tonnes of ore a day, tank farms for 35 million litres of diesel, two permanent camps totalling 1,000 beds, airstrips and a 350-kilometre all-weather road with 70 bridges that would stretch from Izok Lake to Grays Bay on the central Arctic coast.