Heritage Resources Impact Assessment, Ven Lake Property, NWT

Grant Clarke (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2011-017)

In October of 2011, Golder Associates Ltd. conducted a Heritage Resources Impact Assessment at a series of potential diamond drill locations near Ven Lake, Northwest Territories. The project area is within the Great Slave Upland Low Subarctic Ecoregion at the north end of Gordon Lake. The work was conducted on behalf of the Aurora Geosciences Ltd. and Boxxer Gold Corporation. No archaeological sites have been previously recorded in the local study area although sites are known to be present in the region. The investigations were conducted to identify, record, and evaluate the proposed location for the presence of previously unrecorded archaeological sites and to provide recommendations to mitigate potential impacts if sites were identified.

The field crew for the assessment consisted of Grant Clarke of Golder Associates Ltd. (Yellowknife) and Fred Sangris of the Yellowknives Dené First Nation. Procedures employed for this project are considered standard for projects of this nature in the region and entailed pre-field studies, helicopter overflights, on-ground reconnaissance, reporting and recommendation formulation. Project planning also included provisions for a representative of the local community to accompany the field crew during the field inspection and to provide advice regarding the nature and significance of the sites in the area.

Field investigations began at an existing (and currently unoccupied camp) located on the west shore of Ven Lake. An existing series of cut lines connected the areas of investigation. Evidence of previous exploration, including bulk trenches and cleared outcrops were noted during the assessment. The field work focused on areas exhibiting moderate to high potential for archaeological materials that may be impacted by the proposed development. As much of the area was exposed bedrock outcrops limited shovel testing was conducted. These were completed in an effort to identify any buried cultural materials or palaeosols. All of these tests were negative. No archaeological sites were recorded as a result of the investigations.

(Edited by Shelley Crouch, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre)