Ground-breaking news that Canada could fund Taltson Power Construction
10 May 2022
Yellowknife, NT (May 10, 2022) In an interview with Cabin Radio on May 5, 2022, Federal Infrastructure Minister Dominic Leblanc revealed that “he now sees a very clear path to funding the Taltson hydro expansion, a project the Northwest Territories (NWT) has championed since 2004.” He also indicated that he was in discussions with the NWT Premier and the federal Member of Parliament for the NWT this week: “Even this morning, we were looking at a map of potential significant mining developments that would be able to become customers of the hydro electricity generated.”
Leveraging the power of mineral development to build legacy infrastructure is not new in the North. The original Taltson Hydro facility was built by the Federal Government in the 1960s expressly to help bring the Pine Point mine into production. That mine operated for 25 years and paid for the hydro facility through power rates. Taltson power also serves several communities in the region, and continues to provide green power 25 years after the mine closed.
Expansion of Taltson, and creating a powerline tie across Great Slave Lake to Yellowknife and the hydro generating facilities at Snare and Bluefish (also originally constructed to supply mines), would offer a number of exciting and needed opportunities to help the NWT:
- The new Pine Point critical mineral mine that is currently undergoing environmental assessment, will require more power than the existing Taltson grid can supply;
- Nechalacho, another critical mineral mine, and Canada’s first rare earth element mine, would be well served with green hydro power rather than diesel;
- Yellowknife currently requires diesel power to augment its hydro supply during peak periods. This will likely increase with growth in electrical vehicle usage. The Taltson link to the City could address this, and could free up some Snare power usage.
- The NICO critical mineral mine is only 22km from Snare Hydro, but there is insufficient capacity to supply the mine, requiring Fortune Minerals to burn fossil fuels for its power supply. Linking Taltson power to the Yellowknife-Snare Grid would free up power from Snare to meet that mine’s green power needs and the nearby communities of Whati and Gameti.
- If Gold Terra Resources’ exploration for gold in Yellowknife continues to be successful, it could see another gold mine built near the city, and it would also benefit from green hydro power.
“Our Chamber is very supportive of the Taltson expansion and intertie to Yellowknife. It would help the territory grow with clean, green hydropower, and would bolster mineral development and its benefits, as well as help our largest city, Yellowknife, eliminate diesel power usage and grow into the electrical vehicle world,” said Kenny Ruptash, President of the Chamber of Mines. “Canada’s support would be hugely welcome in making this construction happen.”
For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, please visit the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines website at www.miningnorth.com or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867-873-5281 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.