Diavik's license on the way

Yellowknife (Feb 14/00) - A draft water license for the Diavik diamond mine will be in the hands of the NWT Water Board by the end of this month.

Dave Milburn, chairman of the technical committee responsible for drawing up the draft license, said board chairman Gordon Wray had originally requested the committee provide the board with the draft by Feb. 3.

Milburn, manager of water resources for the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, explained the committee needed more time to do its work and the schedule was amended.

"The agreement is that the water board will have something by the end of February," said Milburn.

The technical advisory committee is composed of representatives of government agencies, the five aboriginal groups that would be effected by the proposed diamond mine, about 150 kilometres east of Wekweti.

The four subcommittees of the technical advisory committee are scheduled to meet every day this week and next.

This week, the subcommittee responsible for advising the board on mine design, construction and operation is hoping to receive new test results from Diavik on the plastic cement used in construction of the dikes to be used to allow mining on the lake bed of Lac de Gras.

The last tests indicated the material weakened and became porous with time.