The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine: A Case Study in Intergovernmental Environmental Management




Intergovernmental environmental management, Northwest Territories, water legislation, Fisheries Act, Waters Act, Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act, diamond mining


The Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine is an operating mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Due to requirements defined in law, the mine required several authorizations for construction and operation, including both federal and territorial authorizations. Throughout the construction and operation of the diamond mine, instances occurred when the proponent, De Beers Canada Inc., raised objections about applying conditions in the water licence to areas that were authorized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. As well, there have been ongoing discussions between various parties, including those with regulatory mandates, regarding requirements and jurisdiction related to site closure planning. This article outlines the discussions that have occurred to date, detailing the areas of ambiguity regarding projects that are authorized under multiple pieces of legislation. Lessons learned, as well as recommendations to address some of these issues, are provided.

Author Biography

Rick Walbourne, Government of the Northwest Territories, Department of Environment & Natural Resources

Manager, Water Regulatory & Assessment





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