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Full environmental review for Grays Bay Road and Port project

The proposed $500-million Grays Bay Road and Port project will undergo a full environmental assessment, the federal government revealed last week.

In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) on Jan. 15, the responsible federal ministers stated that they agreed with NIRB's reasons for an environmental review of the project.

Of concern are: potential cumulative effects of increasing mineral development in the Kitikmeot region; other transportation infrastructure projects, such as the proposed Bathurst Inlet Port and Road project; effects of increased shipping in the Kitikmeot; effects on the Bathurst caribou herd; and transboundary issues with the Northwest Territories.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada indicated in the letter that it would "certainly consider" making funds available to potentially affected groups "if there is a demonstrable need," so they can participate in the environmental assessment process.

The Grays Bay Road and Port project would entail construction of a port at the Coronation Gulf that would connect to the former Jericho diamond mine via a 227-km all-weather road.