March 4, 2012 10:00 AM
McGuinty Government Takes Steps to Address Mineral Exploration Impasse
Ontario has withdrawn lands in the vicinity of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) from prospecting and mining claim staking to give clarity to the province’s mineral exploration industry and avoid future disagreements over the land in question.
KI asserts jurisdiction over the land and has asked for a moratorium on mineral exploration and development. The Ontario Government has made several attempts to facilitate communication between KI and God’s Lake Resources (GLR), a junior mineral exploration company that holds a mining lease and mining claims in the vicinity of KI, north of Red Lake in Northwestern Ontario. The company’s existing mining lease and mining claims are not affected by the withdrawal.
The government remains committed to continuing discussions with both parties.
“Our government’s goal is to ensure that all affected parties have the opportunity to benefit from the province’s immense mineral wealth potential. When industry and First Nations communities work together on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, all parties see the economic benefits.”
– Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Northern Development and Mines
The ministry has withdrawn areas in the vicinity of KI based on information KI provided the Province in the past. The withdrawn area is 23,181 square kilometres.
Ontario has responsibility for managing Crown lands and the province’s natural resources. At the same time, Ontario is committed to meeting its constitutional obligations to Aboriginal peoples.
Many companies and First Nations are able to forge productive partnerships. Since 1999, in Ontario, First Nations and industry have signed over 90 mineral development benefit agreements.