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Nunavut Resources Corporation signs co-operation agreement with Shear Diamonds
Inuit-owned organization to work with owner of Jericho diamond mine

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 17, 2011

NUNAVUT - An Inuit-owned organization formed to increase Inuit participation in development decisions and investments signed its first agreement with a mining company, it was announced last week.

NNSL photo/graphic

The open pit of the Jericho Diamond Mine, the territory's first and only diamond mine. The Nunavut Resources Corporation has signed a mutual co-operation agreement with Shear Diamonds, owner of Jericho. The mine is located 420 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife. - photo courtesy of Shear Diamonds

The Nunavut Resources Corporation signed a mutual co-operation agreement with Shear Diamonds, owner of the Jericho Diamond Mine, the territory's first and only diamond mine, that calls for both companies to co-operate when examining infrastructure and other development opportunities related to the potential re-development of the mine.

Shear Diamonds bought the mine in August 2010. Jericho, located 420 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, produced 780,000 carats of diamonds when operational between 2006 and 2008.

NRC chairman Charlie Evalik said the organization is excited to have signed the deal that will see both companies work together and discuss the future of the project.

"It gives us an opening or an agreement that we would try to work together on possible infrastructure requirements of that project and we would have those future discussions together," said Evalik. "I think Inuit need to be involved in any kind of development that's happening within the region so I'm happy that we've got this corporation agreement."

Pamela Strand, president and CEO of Shear Diamonds, said the company will have a better idea of the project's economics and outlook as it goes through the business plan and reaches other milestones during its 18 to 24-month assessment.

"We thought it would really be a positive message for both the company and Nunavut. It's a mutual co-operation agreement," she said. "It's just a first step that enables both Shear Diamonds and the NRC to look at opportunities."

She added the deal came about as NRC was brought to the attention of Shear, a Canadian company, when it worked with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association to acquire the diamond mine.

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