Nunavut Impact Review Board objects new diamond project

The Canadian territory of Nunavut has rejected a new diamond project as it is currently proposed, and recommended Dunnedin Ventures (TSX.V:DVI) to either modify it or abandon the exploration and sampling project.

In its screening decision, the Nunavut Impact Review Board says the Vancouver-based company's Kahuna project near Chesterfield Inlet, as currently designed, is likely to trigger public opposition and that it may have "significant adverse ecosystemic and socioeconomic impacts."

As currently designed, the Kahuna project is likely to trigger public opposition and have "significant adverse ecosystemic and socioeconomic impacts," says the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

Based on comparable widths and grades, Kahuna has similarities with DeBeers’ Snap Lake project, according to Dunnedin’s website. However, the number of kimberlite dikes that are emplaced within a broader structural network gives the Kahuna project additional similarities to various African kimberlite dike projects, where kimberlites are emplaced in structurally-controlled swarms, the company says.

Last month, the company reported it had found 278 diamonds above 0.425 millimetres, with three dozen over 0.85 mm in the area.

Earlier this year, the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Chesterfield Inlet’s Aqigiq Hunters and Trappers Organization voiced their concerns over Dunnedin’s lack of community consultation, Nunatsiaq online reports.

Nunavut Impact Review Board objects new diamond project

Some of the diamonds recovered at Kahuna. (Image courtesy of Dunnedin Ventures )

In response, the company apologized for not consulting the communities and has set up meetings for later this month. However, the project’s future now depends on a decision by the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

The government of Nunavut will also have to comment and it has up to 150 days to do so.

There are three current mineral exploration projects happening in the area, and two past ones.