The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS - The president of Solid Gold Resources blames the ongoing conflict with Wahgoshig First Nation and the provincial government for his company’s plummeting stock values.
“It has completely destroyed it,” said Darryl Stretch. “It’s at three cents, which values my company at less than what it costs to put a shelf together these days. “When we came out with our IPO (initial public offering), it was at 25 cents… For the stock price to be at three cents is unreasonable and outrageous.”
Solid Gold holds claims within a 200-square-kilometre area outside the boundary of the Wahgoshig reserve. In January, the First Nation succeeded in having an injunction imposed against the exploration company to stop drilling in that area.
In February, Solid Gold filed a Leave to Appeal on the basis that “any consultation and accommodation required should have been completed (with Wahgoshig) by the Crown long before mineral claims were granted to Solid Gold,” said Stretch.
He said they are still waiting for the court’s decision.
Wahgoshig has alleged Solid Gold was drilling in areas that included “traditional territory” where there may be ancient burial sites, historical artifacts and areas where community Elders collect medicine.
Stretch has remained steadfast in his position that it is the Ontario Government’s responsibility to negotiate contested land claims with First Nations, not industry’s.
“We are not archaeologists, lawyers, Native historians or constitutional scholars,” said Stretch. “We are prospectors and shareholders who have invested in Ontario and have been denied the right to access mineral claims located on Crown land for which Solid Gold has been granted mineral rights and paid millions of dollars to maintain in good standing.”
At one point during this stalemate, the court appointed a facilitator in an effort to mediate a settlement. Stretch said it was fruitless.
For the rest of this column, please to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2012/07/26/legal-fight-tarnishing-gold-firm