An Inuit group from Canada’s Nunavut territory comes to Wall Street today to pitch investors for financing for start-up mining and exploration projects in the Arctic, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Nunavut Resources Corporation (NRC) seeks to explore the 280,000-square-mile Kitikmeot Region of the Territory of Nunavut for metals and minerals. Approximately 32,000 people reside in the vast region roughly the size of Western Europe. The Inuit-owned land is “totally unexplored,” said Charlie Evalik, the chairman of the NRC, and mining experts speak of its potential mineral riches.
This week, Evalik said he will met with New York-based private-equity investors, as well as Eric Sprott, chief investment officer at Sprott Asset Management, in Toronto.
“The financing will be a challenge, but I think it will come,” Evalik told the WSJ.
NRC seeks an additional $17 million Canadian dollars ($17.3 million U.S. dollars) for its project with HTX Minerals Corp., a privately held Canadian mining company, to extract mine gold, silver, copper, zinc, diamonds and other metals and minerals from the Nunavut region.
The companies recently received a $1 million boost from its parent organization, Kitikmeot Inuit Association (KIA), to start preparations for the mineral exploration program in 2013, reported Mining Weekly. KIA and other parties created NRC as a fully Inuit-owned economic development corporation. NRC was registered and incorporated in Nunavut and Alberta in March 2010.
“The seed funding from KIA demonstrates Inuit commitment to taking a leadership role in resource development,” Evalik said in a press release. “This investment allows us to begin generating exploration projects that will also help further demonstrate the immense potential of the region and our alliance strategy. Our alliance with HTX Minerals, and the investment in it, will help accelerate the discovery of economic ore deposits and could lead to employment and business opportunities, much greater investments in infrastructure and training.”
Nunavut, meaning “Our Land,” was created on April 1, 1999, through the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the largest Aboriginal land claim settlement in Canadian history. The semi-autonomous territory has a public government serving both Inuit and non-Inuit. A 1993 settlement awarded the Inuit title to 19 percent of the land of Nunavut, and included transferring about 2 percent of the minerals rights to the Inuit.