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TIME SENSITIVE re: Proposed Mining of Ellesmere Island

1/14/2010


TIME SENSITIVE COMMUNICATION 

Dear members and colleagues,

As some of you may have heard, a proposed coal mining exploration project for Ellesmere Island (Nunavut) is currently under review. The proposed drilling areas include some of the most important fossil sites in the Arctic including known Pliocene and Eocene fossil sites in the Strathcona Fiord area.

If you are interested in writing a letter of concern, it should go to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). The Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) is an environmental assessment agency established under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement whose objectives are to protect and promote the well-being of the residents, communities and ecosystems of Nunavut.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is our ONLY opportunity in the process to put terms and restrictions on coal  mining activates in these areas.

Letters to NIRB...

1) can be sent to info@nirb.ca, or via fax to +1-867-983-2594. 
2) must be received by 5 p.m. MST, January 15 
3) Letters should include a statement that follows the Nunavut Land  Claim Agreement (NLCA), such as " I urge protection of these sites and recommend that the Nunavut Impact Review Board advise the Minister, pursuant to article 12.4.4(b) of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, that the project proposal requires review under Part 5 or 6." or if you feel more strongly, "I urge protection of these sites and recommend that the Nunavut Impact Review Board advise the Minister, pursuant to article 12.4.4(d) of the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement, that the project proposal be modified or abandoned due to its potential adverse impacts."

Note that the requested review in the first statement indicates that more screening/baseline study is required. In practice this could mean many more years of paleontological work would be allowed to proceed before a decision is made. The second statement is a more aggressive option.

Below are some links and other information:

Link to coal project proposal: http://ftp.nirb.ca/SCREENINGS/ACTIVE%20SCREENINGS/09EN067-Weststar%20Resources%20Corporation/1-SCREENING/
(At this site you will find links to different documents of the proposal)

Link to Westar Web site:  
http://www.weststarresources.com/s/NunavutCoal.asp

Link to article describing feasibility of Arctic mining: http://byers.typepad.com/arctic/2009/01/weststar-acquires-six-nunavut-coal-licences.html

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