Agnico Eagle Mines has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hiqiniq Energy Corporation, owned by the Kitikmeot Corporation, and Tugliq Energy Co. to work toward a wind energy project at the Hope Bay Mine.

The agreement establishes a goal for Tugliq Energy and Hiqiniq Energy to construct and operate a wind turbine project and sell power to Agnico Eagle for its operations at Hope Bay, 125 km southwest of Cambridge Bay.

Dino Forlin, director of business development with the Kitikmeot Corporation, said that project design, the time frame and anticipated costs are still in development. Therefore, economic and employment benefits to the Kitikmeot Inuit community have yet to be determined, he stated.

The goal is to reduce the mine’s long-term carbon emissions and to increase the efficiency of power generation, according to Agnico Eagle, which has a net-zero emissions target set for 2050.

The mining company’s greenhouse gas output rose by 11 per cent in 2020, hitting 578,156 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The bulk of that was produced in Nunavut, which accounts for close to 60 per cent of Agnico Eagle’s overall emissions, largely because its mines in the territory are completely dependent on diesel fuel.

“Wind energy is quickly evolving, and these new wind turbine models have proven to work well in Arctic conditions,” Agnico Eagle stated in a July 29 news release. “Globally, we are at a critical juncture in the climate crisis and we know that the status quo cannot be maintained. Agnico Eagle recognizes the important role the industry plays in addressing this challenge and we understand the importance of making both short- and long-term goals to tackle emissions reduction.”

Montreal-based Tugliq Energy announced a partnership with Hiqiniq Energy Corporation in July 2021, with an aim of developing renewable energy projects in the Kitikmeot region.

“The partnership aims to generate economic development and specialized knowledge building through development and investment in renewable energy projects while also displacing harmful fossil fuels in the region,” the companies stated at the time.

Tugliq Energy Co.’s first wind turbine began operating in northern Quebec in 2014.

In the NWT, Diavik Diamond Mines has realized approximately a 10 per cent reduction in diesel usage since installing a 9.2 MW wind farm in 2012 at a cost of $31 million.

Agnico Eagle acquired junior mining company TMAC Resources, the former owners of Hope Bay’s Doris North mine, in February for $286.6 million.

As current operators, Agnico Eagle has budgetted $16.2 million for drilling activity at the Hope Bay property in 2021.

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