February 7, 2005

Water licence issued for Jericho diamond mine development

OTTAWA, ONT-Benachee Resources, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tahera Diamond Corporation, has been granted a water licence allowing the company to begin construction of Nunavut's first diamond mine, the Jericho development. The issuance of the water licence is one of the remaining federal regulatory requirements before construction can begin. The type "A" water licence for the Jericho Diamond project requires the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development's approval in order to come into effect. The Minister has 45 days to decide whether or not to approve the licence, or may request a 45-day extension for further review. On January 25, 2005, the Minister approved and signed the water licence. The "Part 5" environmental review of the Jericho project was completed in July 2004 with the issuance of the Nunavut Impact Review Board's Project Certificate. The mine site is 350 km southwest of Cambridge Bay in Nunavut's west Kitikmeot region. According to the final environmental impact statement, construction is scheduled to begin in 2005. The mine would begin commercial operation in 2006, and is expected to have an eight year mine life. Mine infrastructure would include tailings disposal in a lake south of the mine site.

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