|Location||Little Cornwallis Island|
|Island||Nunavut (Northwest Territories)|
|Production||21,000,000 tonnes (ore)|
|Financial year||Life of mine|
|Year of acquisition||1964|
Polaris zinc mine was a former underground mine on Little Cornwallis Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut (Northwest Territories prior to Nunavut's official separation). 1,120 km (700 mi) north of the Arctic Circle, and 96 km (60 mi) north of the community of Resolute. The Polaris mine closed in July 2002 following more than twenty years of zinc production.The Polaris zinc mine was located
In 1964 Vancouver-based Cominco optioned all the mineral claims in Canada's Arctic that were controlled by Bankaro Mines. Mineral and economic assessments resulted in a 23 million ton reserve at a zinc grade of 14.1 per cent. Approval of the project was obtained in 1979, then Prime Minister Joe Clark waived environmental assessment hearings and pledged to ship half of the concentrate from the mine in the federally owned icebreaker MV Arctic. 5,600 km (3,500 mi) from Quebec to the mine site. In 1981 the mine commenced production. The Polaris mine employed over 250 people. Although only 20 mine employees were from northern Canada, thirty percent of employment in Resolute was directly related to the mine.The entire mineral processing plant, power plant and workshop were built upon a barge and travelled
The Polaris mine produced over 21 million tonne of lead-zinc ore during the life of the mine, with a market value of over $1.5 billion. Concentrate from the mining operation was stored in a 210 m (700 ft) long warehouse, which was the largest structure in Nunavut.
Initially the mine was scheduled to close in 2001, however due to improved mining techniques, the mine life was extended one year to 2002. Reclamation procedures following the closure of the Polaris mine set a new standard for mine closure in the territory of Nunavut. Reclamation of the mine site began while the mine was still operating, this work was planned to ensure it would not have an adverse effect on the mining operation (such as removal of unused buildings). Cominco intended to bury most of the buildings and materials in a nearby quarry, with the permafrost preventing contamination. Cominco offered the staff accommodations to the federal government for use as a penal colony on the island. Household items were offered to residents of nearby Inuit communities. Cleanup of the Polaris mine site took two years, with environmental monitoring until 2011.
The Qikiqtaaluk Region, Qikiqtani Region or Baffin Region is the easternmost, northernmost, and southernmost administrative region of Nunavut, Canada. Qikiqtaaluk is the traditional Inuktitut name for Baffin Island. Although the Qikiqtaaluk Region is the most commonly used name in official contexts, several notable public organizations, including Statistics Canada prefer the older term Baffin Region.
Arctic Bay is an Inuit hamlet located in the northern part of the Borden Peninsula on Baffin Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. Arctic Bay is located in the Eastern Time Zone although it is quite close to the time zone boundary. The predominant languages are Inuktitut and English. Arctic Bay is notable for being the birthplace of the former Premier of Nunavut and, as of 2021, the Commissioner of Nunavut, Eva Aariak. It is the northern most public community in Canada, not formed from forced relocation.
Cornwallis Island is one of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, part of the Arctic Archipelago, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. It lies to the west of Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island in the world, and at its greatest length is about 113 km (70 mi). At 6,995 km2 (2,701 sq mi) in size, it is the 96th largest island in the world, and Canada's 21st largest island. Cornwallis Island is separated by the Wellington Channel from Devon Island, and by the Parry Channel from Somerset Island to the south. Northwest of Cornwallis Island lies Little Cornwallis Island, the biggest of a group of small islands at the north end of McDougall Sound, which separates Cornwallis Island from nearby Bathurst Island.
Resolute or Resolute Bay is an Inuit hamlet on Cornwallis Island in Nunavut, Canada. It is situated at the northern end of Resolute Bay and the Northwest Passage and is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region.
Resolute Bay is an Arctic waterway in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is located in Parry Channel on the southern side of Cornwallis Island. The hamlet of Resolute is located on the northern shore of the bay with Resolute Bay Airport to the northwest. The Inuit associated with Resolute Bay are called Qausuittuq and the population of the hamlet in the 2006 census was 229.
Little Cornwallis Island is one of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the Canadian Arctic islands in Nunavut, Canada. It is located at 75°30'N 96°30'W, between Cornwallis Island and Bathurst Island in McDougall Sound, and measures 412 km2 (159 sq mi). It is uninhabited.
The Pine Point Mine is located on the south shore of Great Slave Lake between Hay River to the west and Fort Resolution to the east, in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It produced lead and zinc ores from a Mississippi Valley Type deposit between 1964 and 1988. Most of the mining was done by open-pit methods. The town of Pine Point was built by the mining company, Cominco, and when the mine closed the town was abandoned and demolished.
There are an estimated 850 km (530 mi) of roads and highways across the Canadian territory of Nunavut, which is the only province/territory not connected by road to other parts of Canada.
The Sullivan Mine is a now-closed conventional–mechanized underground mine located in Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada. The ore body is a complex, sediment-hosted, sedimentary exhalative deposit consisting primarily of zinc, lead, and iron sulphides. Lead, zinc, silver and tin were the economic metals produced. The deposit lies within the lower part of the Purcell Supergroup and mineralization occurred about 1470 million years ago during the late Precambrian (Mesoproterozoic).
Nanisivik is a now-abandoned company town which was built in 1975 to support the lead-zinc mining and mineral processing operations for the Nanisivik Mine, in production between 1976 and 2002. The townsite is located just inland from Strathcona Sound, about 20 km (12 mi) east of the community of Arctic Bay in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.
Nunavut is the largest and northernmost territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act, which provided this territory to the Inuit for independent government. The boundaries had been drawn in 1993. The creation of Nunavut resulted in the first major change to Canada's political map in half a century since the province of Newfoundland was admitted in 1949.
Nanisivik Mine was a zinc-lead mine in the company town of Nanisivik, Nunavut, 750 km (470 mi) north of the Arctic Circle on Baffin Island. It was Canada's first mine in the Arctic. The mine first opened on 15 October 1976 and permanently closed in September 2002 due to low metal prices and declining resources. Mine reclamation began in April 2003. It was one of the most northerly mines in the world.
The Red Dog mine is a large zinc and lead mine in a remote region of Alaska, about 80 miles (130 km) north of Kotzebue, which is owned and operated by the Canadian mining company Teck Resources. It is located within the boundaries of the Red Dog Mine census-designated place in the Northwest Arctic Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska.
Dundas Island is a member of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and the Arctic Archipelago in the territory of Nunavut. It is an irregularly shaped island located between Devon Island and Baillie-Hamilton Island. The smaller Margaret Island is 1 km (0.62 mi) to the east of Dundas.
Grays Bay is an Arctic waterway in Kitikmeot Region, Nunavut, Canada. It is located in Coronation Gulf. Hepburn Island is located at its mouth. The Tree River and the Annielik River flow into the bay.
Aston Bay is an Arctic waterway in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. It is an arm of Peel Sound and is located on the western side of Somerset Island. It is located north of M'Clure Bay. The closest hamlet is Resolute, located about 150 km (93 mi) to the north on Cornwallis Island.
The Mary River Mine is an open pit iron ore mine on Inuit Owned Land (IOL) operated by the Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation (BIMC), in the Mary River area of the Qikiqtaaluk Region, on Baffin Island, Nunavut, in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. As of 2021, Mary River mine operation consists of an open-pit mine, two work camps for hundreds of workers, a tote road—from the Mary River site to Milne Inlet—and a port infrastructure at Milne Inlet. According to a 4-year study published in 2008, the Mary River Mine, with its four massive iron ore deposits of 65-70% pure iron ore was "one of the most promising undeveloped iron deposits on the planet". It was not until technological advances were in place in 2010, and the market for iron ore had dramatically increased that sizable financial backing for the high cost of development in a remote region known for its inhospitable climate, was available. The mine began operations in 2014, and the first shipment to Europe arrived in 2015. Baffinland is currently planning on expanding the mine. In February 2021, a group of Inuit hunters blockaded access to the mine for a week to protest the expansion.
The Nanisivik Naval Facility is a Canadian Forces naval facility on Baffin Island, Nunavut. The station is built at the former lead-zinc mine site near the former company town of Nanisivik. The facility was undergoing final testing in mid-2019. Full operational capability had been expected to be achieved by mid-2020 with the first refuelling of a Royal Canadian Navy ship. However, in July 2020 it was confirmed that work on the facility would not be completed until 2022. On 30 March 2022, it was reported that the completion of the facility would be further delayed to 2023. Then in November 2022, the Auditor General of Canada reported that the facility would start to be used by the navy regularly beginning in 2025.
The geology of Nunavut began to form nearly three billion years ago in the Archean and the territory preserves some of the world's oldest rock units.
The Northwest Territories boast two of the world's most northerly mines; Polaris on Little Cornwallis Island and Nanisivik on Baffin Island. Both are Lead and Zinc mines.