Coalition wants [Wolf Lake mining] lease to lapse – by Star Staff (Sudbury Star – May 29, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The Wolf Lake Coalition is once again urging the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines to let a mining lease in the Wolf Lake old-growth forest expire Thursday.

In fact, the coalition argued in a release Monday that regulations in the Mining Act would support such a decision, and that to allow exploration would be “shameful.”

“The Mining Act affirms that if the leaseholder is not in production or on the road to production in that lease, it should expire,” the coalition said. “According to public records, very little activity has occurred on this lease for the past 30 years. Not only is this area not in production — it is not remotely close.

“Under our own legislation, this lease should not be renewed.” Flag Resources, a Calgarybased company, holds mining leases in the reserve. The comp a ny’s president, Murdo McLeod, has said in the past there is potential for gold, copper, cobalt and palladium mines in Wolf Lake, where the company has been since the 1980s.

Last spring, one of Flag Resources’ mining leases was renewed until 2031, with the second 21-year lease up for Thursday.

In an email Monday, McLeod told The Star Flag Resources has not been active in the lease area, but plans to open a Sudbury office “soon.”

He wrote he wants to “work with the people of Sudbury, not against them.” And although he is in favour of talking about any issues the coalition might have, he said “Canada will continue to need a secure and reliable source of strategic minerals for the continuing functioning of our economic society.”

He also said no member of the Wolf Lake Coalition has contacted the company for information on its activities, adding Flag Resources will provide its baseline environmental reports or any other documents to anyone who wants them. McLeod said he would be willing to speak to anyone in Sudbury with questions, comments or concerns at 1-888-531-7798.

However, the coalition continues to insist the lease should not be renewed, and that the provincial government should honour commitments to protect Wolf Lake, which consists of 4,000 hectares of land.

“Some natural places have such a special value that the only right decision is to protect them from damage,” the coalition said. “Standing among towering 200-and 300-year-old red pines in the Wolf Lake Forest Reserve, there can be no question that this is one of them.

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