Proposed diamond mine angers Prince Albert community

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Many local residents and a First Nations community are speaking out against a proposed diamond mine near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

First proposed by Shore Gold Inc. in 1995, the Star-Orion Diamond Project was approved by the federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq last year.

The proposed site will cover 9,200 hectares in the Fort à la Corne provincial forest, east of Prince Albert and will likely impact the environment as well as the community’s sacred hill area.

The Star-Orion Diamond Project is set to operate two open pits that would mine 45,000 tonnes of rock per day for 20 years in the forested area that has one of the largest kimberlite fields in the world.

Saskatchewan’s environment ministry has issued a report outlining the impacts of the mining project, including the fact that operations require huge amounts of water, which would be taken from the local bodies water, likely affecting the ecosystem.

The mine would also affect a sacred site in the forest that belongs to the James Smith Cree Nation. The report states that, “excavation of the Star pit would result in the removal of Spy Hill, identified as a sacred site in the traditional land use study.” CJ

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