The 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (“NLCA”) gave the Inuit title to 356,000 km2 of land, representing 19% of the total area of Nunavut. There are 944 parcels of Inuit Owned Land where the Inuit own the surface rights and the Crown retains the mineral rights. The Inuit hold both surface and minerals rights on the remaining 144 parcels, which comprise 38,000 km2 or 2% of the total area of Nunavut.
Mineral rights on the 944 Crown parcels are now managed through a new on-line Nunavut Map Selection system that went live January 30, 2021. It is operated by the federal Government of Canada through the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (“CIRNAC”) and replaces traditional ground staking.
Mineral rights on the 144 parcels of Inuit Owned Land (“IOL”) are administered by an Inuit corporation, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorported (“NTI”). The 144 IOL parcels have an alphanumeric designation in the form of two letter followed by two digits. The Sundog Project is located on AR-35.
For approximately 81% of area of Nunavut, the surface rights are owned by the Crown. As noted, above, the Inuit control the surface rights on 944 parcels of land where the Crown retains the mineral rights and on 144 parcels where the Inuit also control the mineral rights. While the mineral rights are managed by NTI, the surface rights are managed by one of three Regional Inuit Associations (“RIA”), Kitikmeot, Kivalliq and Qikitani. The RIA’s access through the issuance of Land Use Licences and Surface Leases as well as other forms of authorization.
In order to gain access to any IOL parcels for mineral exploration or development, the responsible Regional Inuit Association must be contacted. The surface rights associated with the Sundog and Noomut Projects are managed by the Kivalliq Inuit Association (“KIVIA”).
Sundog Gold Project
The Sundog Gold Project is located on AR-35. As such, the mineral rights are managed by NTI and the surface rights are managed by the KIVIA. Prior to being granted access to the mineral rights by NTI, approval of the Company’s Expression of Interest in the Project, must be obtained from the KIVIA. Following that approval, NTI will obtain written confirmation from the KIVIA that the lands are open for mineral exploration and mining and that NTI has the approval of the KIVIA to enter into an Inuit Owned Lands Mineral Exploration Agreement (“Mineral Exploration Agreement”) with New Break. Once signed, this Mineral Exploration Agreement grants the Company exclusive right to explore for minerals within the approved exploration area. The maximum period of the Mineral Exploration Agreement is 20 years and the maximum area that may be included in a single agreement is 10,000 hectares. Annual fees, paid to NTI, for the exploration area, begin at $1.00 per hectare in the initial year and rise to a maximum of $5.00 per hectare in years 16 to 20. Annual work requirements begin at $5.00 per hectare in the first 2 years, rising over time to a maximum of $40.00 per hectare in years 16 to 20.
Sy, Noomut and Angikuni Lake Gold Projects
Sy Gold Project – mineral rights are owned by the Crown and were staked in 2021 using the new Nunavut Map Selection system. Surface rights are also owned by the Crown. As such, there is no involvement with NTI or the KIVIA with respect to these mineral claims.
Noomut Gold Project – mineral rights are owned by the Crown and were staked in 2021 using the new Nunavut Map Selection system. Surface rights are Inuit Owned Land and as such, the Company must be granted the right of access by the KIVIA.
Angikuni Lake Gold Projects - mineral rights are owned by the Crown and were staked in 2021 using the new Nunavut Map Selection system. Surface rights are also owned by the Crown. As such, there is no involvement with NTI or the KIVIA with respect to these mineral claims.