Cumberland Strives for Bright Future for Inuit Youth By: Dorothy Kosich Posted: 2004/03/02 Tue 08:30 | © Mineweb 1997-2004 RENO, NV ( –While numerous presenters at the BMO Nesbit Burns 2004 Global Resource Conference rattled off the usual litany of reserves, exploration and production targets, the head of Cumberland Resources (CLG) said he hoped his company’s project would provide a future for the youth of the tiny town of Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Kerry Curtis, President and CEO of the Vancouver-based Cumberland Resources, said his company has spent the past nine years working to gain the trust and support of the community of Baker Lake, population 1,600. Curtis says he and members of the community believe the Meadowbank Gold Project—anticipated to be the 6th largest gold mine in Canada--may finally provide an answer to the hamlet’s 70% unemployment rate. There was no graduating class in Baker Lake this year. The Inuit youngsters simply drop out because there are no jobs in the area, according to Curtis. However, their luck may change if Meadowbank is permitted, allowing the advancement of Canada’s third largest undeveloped gold resource. Cumberland’s board has approved a $4.7 million exploration program for the project. This year’s exploration program will focus on exploration near existing gold deposits, numerous recently-defined prospects, and grassroots exploration. Thus far, Cumberland has spent $28 million in exploration costs, and believes Meadowbank contains 2,998,000 ounces of gold in the measured and indicated resource category and 788,000 in inferred ounces. The project is located in typical Arctic tundra terrain, including very shallow water in lakes. In fact, some of the gold will be mined in those lakes. The ores are quite simple and actually lack the arsenic found in typical Canadian deposits, according to Curtis. The area contains a number of shallow gold deposits in close proximity to each other, which could easily be developed into open pit mines, he added. It would be operated as a fly-in, fly-out operation. There is winter road access from January to May and shipping access from July to October. Air access is available on a daily basis. Curtis predicts that permitting for the mine will be achieved by the end of this year. Construction will commence in 2005 with the first gold production anticipated during the first quarter of 2007. He believes mine life will extend will beyond the current projection of 10 years, with an annual gold production of 250,000 ounces. Curtis anticipates a 93% rate of recovery with a mill throughput of 5,500 tonnes per day. Well before the mine begins operation, Cumberland Resources is already Baker Lake’s largest employer. Despite Canada’s well publicized land ownership battles with First Nations, Curtis said “no doubt” exists about land ownership in Nunavut, which, essentially, is Canada’s first territory governed by a First Nations majority. The company has already assisted local businesses in their economic develop efforts, he added. The company listed on the American Stock Exchange on February 3 and has a $190 million market cap. As of March 1, the share price was $3.15 with a 52-week high of $5.25 and a 52-week low of $2. Curtis said Cumberland’s goal is become a mid-tier producer. As of the end of last year, the Cumberland Resources possessed $47 million in working capital and no debt.