After Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada finished the clean up at the Colomac gold mine site, mining company Merc International Minerals Inc. has acquired the property. The mine was previously owned by Royal Oak Mines when it went bankrupt.
The Colomac Mine was operational from 1989 to 1997. The Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada took over the mine site in 1999 and began cleanup work which was finally completed in 2011. It involved capping tailing ponds that were contaminated with cyanide, and removing oil, fuel and old batteries from the site.
The mine is situated in Canada near Wekweeti, about 222 km north of Yellowknife. Merc International operates the Indin Lake gold project in close proximity to Colomac. The company is also already the owner of about 101,000 hectares located near the Colomac Mine.
Joseph Judas is a Tlicho elder who does not approve of the transfer of mineral rights of the mine to Merch International. He could not understand why the federal government would let another company mine at the Colomac site after it took them nearly 10 years and millions of dollars to clean it up.
Malcolm Robb, manager of mineral development for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, said that they were waiting for the company to issue its press release. They expected the agreement to be finalized in January.
Dave Wiley, the president and CEO of Merc International said that they just thought it was a very gold rich area, they thought it was an area that was ripe for exploration. And that it had been overlooked by decades of prospectors.