|The parties to the Diavik Environmental Agreement include the Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., the Government of Canada represented by the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND), the Government of the Northwest Territories represented by the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development, the Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, the North Slave Métis Alliance and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.
The Environmental Agreement, together with the Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement, meet two important criteria set out in the Comprehensive Study Report (CSR) for the Diavik Diamonds Project. The CSR was issued in June 1999 by DIAND who undertook, together with the Departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Natural Resources Canada, a fifteen month Comprehensive Study of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the Diavik Project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
Contributions to the Comprehensive Study were received from various levels of government, Aboriginal groups, Northern communities, non-governmental organisations and the general public in Public Involvement and Technical Review Processes conducted under DIAND stewardship. The summary conclusion of the CSR was that the Diavik Diamonds Project, taking into account the implementation of appropriate mitigation measures, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects.
The Environmental Agreement sets out the environmental monitoring and reporting requirements for the project, and the conditions for the reclamation security deposit requirements for the Diavik Project.
The Agreement is the first of its kind in Canada to have the following combination of key components:
· Majority representation by Aboriginal groups on the project’s Environmental Advisory Review Board;
· Progressive reclamation of mine workings to achieve incremental abandonment in a manner consistent with sustainable development;
· Mechanisms for proponent participation in a Regional Cumulative Effects Management Forum; and
· The provision of environmental security consistent with life-of-mine closure costs and progressive reclamation as well as additional security to meet the Government of Canada’s requirements for adequate funding in the event of premature mine closure. The maximum security required is forecast to be approximately $180 million, taking into consideration credits for progressive reclamation.
The Agreement reflects a consultative and cooperative approach to environmental management. Through the establishment of Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board, Aboriginal people and Northerners will be able to ensure that the Project is monitored and the environment protected. The Agreement also ensures that adequate security is in place at any time during the life of the mine to rehabilitate the mine site.
The environmental agreement had to be concluded before the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development could issue a land use permit to allow Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. to begin preliminary site activities.|