Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

Board notified of delay

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 05/06) - Representatives from Ekati diamond mine responded Wednesday to union claims that the company is delinquent in its $56 million security deposit to the Mackenzie Land and Water Board for future reclamation of the mine site.

"The water board and Indian and Northern Affairs was made well aware of the delay on the security deposit," said company external affairs officer Deana Twissell.

"The delay did not infringe in any way on our operation or PSAC's attempt to discredit the company."

In a May 2 Public Service Alliance of Canada press release, Jean-Francois Des Lauriers criticized mine owner BHP Billiton for its failure to come up with the Jan. 31 deposit.

"It is shocking that BHP Billiton continues to operate the Ekati diamond mine without meeting the terms of its water license," he said. "Why is a giant company with annual profits of $7.5 billion not meeting its environmental obligations?"

In an April 7 letter to the Wek'eezhii Land and Water Board - which administers permits in the Tlicho region under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act - BHP vice president of finance Tim Holt explained the reason for the delay was due to "lengthy negotiations" with the Royal Bank of Canada to agree on the terms and conditions under which the letters of credit would be issued.