GN inks deal with Kitikmeot Inuit to build deep sea port, road (Nunatsiaq News – July 12, 2016)

Infrastructure will support network of mines in Nunavut’s Izok corridor

Nunavut premier Peter Taptuna celebrated the territory’s annual holiday by signing off on an agreement with Kitikmeot Inuit to develop the first deep-water port and all-weather road in the western Arctic.

Taptuna signed a memorandum of understanding July 9 with Kitikmeot Inuit Association president Stanley Anablak to formalize the two organizations’ cooperation on the Grays Bay Road and Port Project (GBRP).

The massive transportation project includes a deep sea port at Grays Bay — just east of Kugluktuk along the Northwest Passage — and a 227-kilomtre all-weather road south from there linking it to Izok Lake, a well-known zinc-lead mining corridor under exploration.

The project would connect the mineral-rich region to Arctic shipping routes, while setting the foundation for an eventual all-weather road link to Yellowknife. “The potential benefits of the GBRP project are far-reaching,” Taptuna said in a July 9 release.

“A deep water port in western Nunavut will both reduce the high cost of living and stimulate economic activity in the region of Kitikmeot.” Later the same day, on Twitter, the premier noted the territory’s “self-reliance depends on responsible economic and resource development.”

The Chinese-owned MMG Resources Inc., which has proposed two mines at High Lake and Izok Lake, have put those projects on ice since 2013.

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