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    Grays Bay Road and Port

We, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and the Government of Nunavut (the “Proponents”), are seeking approval to build the Grays Bay Road and Port Project (the “GBRP Project”). We are submitting this detailed project proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board to start its screening process. It is expected that the GBRP Project will be required to go through a full environmental review.
The GBRP Project consists of a port for cargo ships to dock, a small craft harbour, all supporting infrastructure at Grays Bay, and a 232 kilometre gravel road that connects the port to the site of the former Jericho Mine in Nunavut. The port is approximately 200 kilometers east of Kugluktuk on the Coronation Gulf and west of Bathurst Inlet. Once built, the port will be able to handle cargo ships that load and unload fuel, take away ore from future mines in the area, and bring in supplies for nearby communities. The road will be open all year to commercial vehicles and the public, however the port facilities will only be open to ships and small vessels during the open-water season (July to October). In the winter, the road will be connected to the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road. We will manage the use of the port and road to keep the public safe and to address known and emerging wildlife and environmental issues. This would include restricting access to certain parts of the road or port to the public to prevent interactions with commercial users or sensitive wildlife.
We intend to build the GBRP Project throughout the year and over a four-years period. In addition to the road and port, the project will require construction of bridges and culverts; quarries; tanks for storing diesel fuel; a runway; a rest station at Jericho Mine and other facilities needed to operate a port, such as a landfill, camp, power supply and sewage treatment. Up to 250 people at any time, working on fly-in/fly-out rotation schedules, will be required to build the project. During operations, the number of required employees will be much less than during construction - between 10 to 25 positions.
Once built, we expect the port to offer better resupply options to Kitikmeot communities as a seasonal road link to Yellowknife would be created. This could create local business opportunities and reduce the costs of certain goods that are currently shipped by sealift or air.
Future users of the port and road are not considered to be directly part of the GBRP Project as their activities away from the road and port would not be under the direct management of the GBRP Project owners. Such future users would include any ships or trucks needed to build or operate future mining projects, such as the Izok Corridor Project. These types of projects would have to go through their own environmental assessment.
The GBRP Project is in a remote area with very little industrial activity. However, Inuit and some First Nations near the southern parts of the corridor have used the project area in the past. This use is noted in previous Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit studies. Environmental studies have also been carried out to help predict potential effects to the environment from the GBRP Project. We will update some of these studies in fall of 2017 or in 2018.
The GBRP Project crosses through land used by the Dolphin and Union, and Bathurst caribou herds. We are seeking to develop and implement a broad range of measures to minimize effects to these herds. For example, the port will not be open when Dolphin Union caribou are crossing the Coronation Gulf in spring and fall. The road will be closed to vehicles when Bathurst caribou are calving near the corridor. Side slopes of the road will be made flatter and packed down in areas where caribou are expected or known to cross. Also, construction activities will be shut down at times when large numbers of caribou are nearby. We recognize and share the concerns around potential effects to caribou and plan to work with Inuit and Northwest Territories Indigenous groups to develop appropriate protection measures.
For a short time during construction, activities at the port could disrupt marine mammal and fish activities. Freshwater fish and their habitat may be locally impacted during road bridge construction. We will implement best practices to prevent sediment from entering waters to minimize harm to fish.
Areas around the port and certain bridge crossings are also known to have high potential for heritage resources. We will complete an archaeological survey once the exact location of these project components is known. In most cases, potential effects to heritage resources can be minimized by designing the project to avoid areas of known historical sites. If sites cannot be avoided, we will develop a plan to reduce impacts through investigation and documentation of sites. Effects on other components of the environment such as vegetation, soils, air and water will be mitigated through best practices and by following an Environmental Protection Plan that we will apply to all activities.
The GBRP Project is meant to be a project that encourages development in the Kitikmeot region, and as a result, we will carefully manage cumulative effects from future developments to minimize possible harm to the environment.
The GBRP Project will create jobs for Inuit and other Northern residents. We will develop and apply an Inuit hiring policy to maximize opportunities for Inuit during and after construction. The project will support training of Inuit for jobs such as in administration, equipment operation, camp services, emergency response and port operations. The project will also create opportunities for Inuit and Northern businesses to provide goods and services during construction and operations.
We have been meeting with Kitikmeot communities, Inuit organizations and Northwest Territories Indigenous groups to discuss the project. The comments raised at these meetings have been, and will continue to be used to plan, design, build and operate the project. Meetings with potentially affected groups will continue during the environmental review of the project by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Started application review 2018-01-17
  • Technical advisor assigned 2018-01-29
  • Technical advisor assigned 2018-01-29
  • Scoping: Draft Scope commenting in progress 2018-01-30
  • Scoping: Draft Scope commenting 2018-02-19
  • Sent Notification to Parties 2018-02-22
  • Scoping: Notice of Dates and Location of Community Visits sent 2018-02-22
  • Scoping: Notice of Dates and Location of Community Visits sent 2018-02-23
  • Kitikmeot
Project Images
Notifications sent: Scoping: Notice of Dates and Location of Community Visits sent

2018-02-23 13:42:32

NIRB 125069 / 17XN011: Invitation to Public Scoping Meetings for KIA and GN's "Grays Bay Road and Port" Project Proposal

    Dear Parties:

    Due to an administration error, a mistake was made on the documentation that was issued on February 22, 2018. The NIRB apologizes for any inconvenience.

    Please see the attached correspondence from the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB or Board) regarding the upcoming scoping and Draft Environmental Impact Statement guidelines meetings for the NIRB’s Review of Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA) and Government of Nunavut’s (GN) “Grays Bay Road and Port” project proposal (NIRB File No. 17XN011).

    The NIRB’s staff will deliver a formal scoping and draft guidelines presentation and provide parties with an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the Review of the proposed Grays Bay Road and Port proposal during the meetings to be held in each of the Kitikmeot communities between March 19 to March 29, 2018.

    Should you have any questions regarding the upcoming meetings or the NIRB’s Review of the Grays Bay Road and Port project proposal, please contact Keith Morrison, Technical Advisor II at or (867) 983-4617.

    Best regards,

    Jenny Klengenberg
    Environmental Administrator

    Nunavut Impact Review Board
    P.O. Box 1360 (29 Mitik)
    Cambridge Bay, NU, X0B 0C0
    Phone: 867-983-4600
    Fax: 867-983-2594

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