Project Dashboard


  • NIRB File No:


  • Application No.:


  • Project Type:

    Mine Development

  • Project Name:

    Whale Tail Pit - Expansion Project

Primary Contact

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited – Meadowbank Division (Agnico Eagle) would like to mine and mill for three to four more years by expanding the Whale Tail Pit Project (Approved Project), located on the Amaruq Exploration Property, approximately 50 km north of the Meadowbank Mine. Agnico Eagle is proposing to, expand the Whale Tail open pit, develop another open pit called the IVR Pit, and include underground mining operations. These new mining operations are referred to as the “Expansion Project” in this summary. Agnico Eagle is asking the Nunavut Impact Review Board to reconsider the Whale Tail Pit Project Certificate No. 008 to allow for the expansion.The Whale Tail site currently has in place an open pit, camp for people, power plant, heli-pad, maintenance shop, tank farm, a place to store the ore and waste rock, a pond for mine site water (i.e., the water that comes into contact with various parts of the mine), a system to treat water and sewage, haul roads, access roads, and collection ponds, channels, dikes, dams, and culverts to manage on site water. Some of these facilities will be expanded to support the Expansion Project. Initially, Agnico Eagle planned to mine ore, the rock containing the gold, over a three to four-year period or 8.3 million tonnes of ore. With the proposed expansion Agnico Eagle proposes to mine for an additional four years for a total of 15.2 million tonnes of ore. During the mining process waste rock, which is the rock and soil removed to gain access to the ore, will be generated at the Whale Tail site and this rock and soil will be kept at the site. The ore, the rock containing the gold, will be transported by truck over a haul road to Meadowbank Mine to be milled and turned into gold. Waste generated from the milling process at the Meadowbank Mine will be stored at the Meadowbank Mine. The width of the haul road between the Meadowbank Mine and the Whale Tail Project site will be upgraded to double lanes from 9.5 metre wide to 15 metre wide for improved safety. Agnico Eagle has in place the management, mitigation, and monitoring plans with the goal to manage water and waste in such a way as to limit the impact on the local environment. Agnico Eagle will continue to comply with the Project Certificate issued by the Nunavut Impact Review Board and any further direction they impose through their monitoring officer. The use and management of water and deposit of waste is regulated by the Nunavut Water Board. Agnico Eagle will continue to comply the measure put in place by the Board and as committed to by the company to have in place comprehensive monitoring programs. A key goal of Agnico Eagle’s public consultation and engagement program has been to ensure that Agnico Eagle has the support of many interested parties who could be affected by the mine. Agnico Eagle has met with the community and with local stakeholders within the Kivalliq Region regularly to discuss the Approved Project and Expansion Project activities and will continue to do so. Agnico Eagle has documented when, where, how, why, and with whom it conducted consultation. In addition, Agnico Eagle has documented how the information collected from participants was used. Much of the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) collected for the Project has been collected over time through consultation, formal IQ workshops, community meetings, and through informal acquisition of IQ by working with local field staff. The IQ collected included knowledge on the existing condition, concerns on the various project impacts, and recommendations for the Expansion Project. These concerns were taken into account in the effects assessment and recommendations were considered when developing mitigation and monitoring plans.  Agnico Eagle has continued to collect baseline information for the Project to continue to add the base of knowledge of existing conditions for the site prior to construction of Approved facilities or proposed Expansion facilities. An ongoing baseline data collection includes data related to: noise, terrain, soils and permafrost, wildlife and vegetation, geochemistry (describes the metals that are inside the rocks), groundwater (the water that is underground), surface water quantity, water quality, IQ, fish, and archeology (the study of old artifacts on the landscape and also known as heritage resources). Baseline studies are used to inform the environmental assessment for the proposed expansion. In general, the methods used for impact assessment have not changed from the original assessment approved by Nunavut Impact Review Board. Environmental significance of the Expansion Project effects where assessed based on the following criteria: how big, how far, and how long an effect will last;project design or mitigations to limit or avoid potential effects;environmental or socio-economic context/value, including the current “state of health” of ecosystems;historical, cultural, and archaeological significance of the geographic area likely to be affected by the Project; andvalue attached based on consultation with potentially affected communities and relevant individuals and organizations. The Expansion Project will provide jobs for three to four years more years to the local population of Baker Lake and other Kivalliq communities, and indirect employment opportunities to others in Nunavut. The Expansion Project is anticipated to have a number of positive effects, specifically a positive effect on the GDP, tax revenues, local business development, jobs and training, incomes, and well-being related to income to spend as people choose, community contributions, and the continuation of agreements between Agnico Eagle and the communities that are designed to help the communities. The most important income effect will be three to four more years of high paying wage employment from the Expansion Project.Agnico Eagle plans to leave Whale Tail Pit Project, including the proposed Expansion Project, in a physically and chemically stable project footprint for the long-term protection of the environment and people of Nunavut. When the mine closes, all the dikes and water diversions will be removed and lakes will have similar amounts of water as they do now. The open pits will be flooded. Some waste rock will be returned to the underground mined out areas and other waste rock will be capped with clean rock. Most active on-site closure activities will occur over a three-year period with passive closure until around 2040. Monitoring will continue until it is confirmed that the water is safe for release to the natural environment and to ensure that the natural environment is protected.Agnico Eagle strongly believes that considering its past performance and the current design of the Expansion Project, the company is able to complete the mining of the Whale Tail Pit and IVR Pit, to lessen any negative impacts, and to maintain and restore the site in the event of closure.

Assessment Phase / Activity
  • Started project monitoring 2018-11-16
  • NIRB issues notice of receipt of final EIS submission 2018-11-27
  • Technical advisor assigned 2018-12-07
  • Technical advisor assigned 2018-12-07
  • Technical advisor assigned 2018-12-07
  • NIRB Ltr to Proponent re FEIS Compliance Determination 2018-12-10
  • NIRB issues notice of receipt of final EIS submission 2018-12-20
  • NIRB Notice to Parties re Applications for Intervenor status 2019-01-07
  • NIRB Ltr to Proponent re FEIS Compliance Determination 2019-01-10
  • NIRB issues notice of community information sessions 2019-01-11
  • NIRB Ltr to Parties re submission of Information Requests 2019-02-13
  • NIRB Ltr to Proponent re FEIS Compliance Determination 2019-02-13
  • NIRB Notice to Parties re Applications for Intervenor status 2019-02-19
  • NIRB Notice to Parties of IR’s Received 2019-02-22
  • NIRB Ltr to Proponent and Parties re IRs requiring a response 2019-03-06
  • NIRB Notice to Parties re Applications for Intervenor status 2019-03-06
  • NIRB Notice to parties re receipt of IR responses 2019-03-13
  • NIRB Notice to Parties re Applications for Intervenor status 2019-03-19
  • Send Notification to Parties 2019-04-15
  • Kivalliq
Project Images
Notifications sent: Send Notification to Parties

2019-04-15 18:17:37

NIRB 125418/16MN056: Logistics for Technical Meeting of Agnico Eagle's "Whale Tail Pit Expansion" Project Proposal


    Dear Parties,

    The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB or Board) has scheduled the Technical Meeting for Agnico Eagle Mines Limited's “Whale Tail Pit Expansion” project proposal (NIRB File No. 16MN056) in Baker Lake from June 11-13, 2019.

    Please see the attached correspondence for information regarding hotel accommodations and logistics for the upcoming meeting.

    All documents associated with the Whale Tail Pit Expansion Project proposal, including the Final Environmental Impact Statement Addendum, can be accessed online via the NIRB’s public registry at

    Should you have any questions or require additional clarification regarding this matter, please contact Erin Reimer, Technical Advisor I, at (867) 857-4566 or via email at

    Best regards,

    Andrea Omilgoitok
    Environmental Administrator

    Nunavut Impact Review Board
    P.O. Box 1360 (29 Mitik)
    Cambridge Bay, NU, X0B 0C0
    Phone: 867-983-4600
    Toll Free: 1-866-233-3033
    Fax: 867-983-2594

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