Mineral resource development is important to Nunavut. The development of mining projects in the West Kitikmeot region has far reaching impacts not only for our shareholders, but for the government and constituents of the Territory. Xstrata's current mine concept at Hackett River envisions building a road and deep water port. Back River is also progressing through development and engineering studies. Both of these projects provide significant opportunities for employment and training in the region. The development of these mines would open up a region, providing opportunities for other projects to come on line and larger vessels to facilitate larger economies of scale for both industry and the regional communities.
As more large resource projects push towards development, the challenges of operating in the North become more apparent. As critical mass builds and requirements for infrastructure and energy become the defining line items in a mine plan, opportunities present themselves for partnerships between industry and government.
As it was with the Timmins and Kirkland Lake belts in their infancy, the infrastructure that we now see around those world class mining districts in Ontario and Quebec, grew because of development. As has been demonstrated by Agnico-Eagle's Meadow Bank project, as projects become large enough to sustain initial development, create jobs, and become economic, partnerships between the constituents of the land, industry and government evolve into sustainable development.