Aboriginal groups mount opposition to Gahcho Kue

In July, a government and aboriginal review board approved the Gahcho Kue diamond mine. Now, three aboriginal groups are pleading with the federal government to stop the project, Alaska Dispatch reports.

The proposed mine – owned by De Beers and Mountain Province Diamond (NYSE-AMEX: MDM) – is located 300km east of Yellowknife and would require draining portions of Kennady Lake.

The groups oppose the plans as they stand, citing concerns over water quality, caribou and fish habitats and the future of the lake.

When the review panel approved the project last month they recognized that the "project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental impacts" but found that the economic benefits would outweigh these environmental concerns.

Aboriginal groups Lutsel K'e Dene, the Yellowknives Dene, and the Tlicho say they will ask the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to review the project further.

Two other diamond mines in the Northwest Territories – Diavik and Ekati – are reaching their expiration date and Gahcho Kue is expected to help alleviate some production drop-off from these sites.