Above the tree line on a mountain in the Southern Interior is a spot most people have never heard of, but is increasingly the centre of attention for a mining exploration company and communities of the Tsilhqot’in First Nation.
It is a mineral claim being prospected by the Vancouver-headquartered company Amarc Resources Ltd. And the property is already spoken of in glowing terms for resembling the mineralization that formed the basis of Teck Resources Ltd.’s mighty Highland Valley copper mine. However, the property known as Ike is also in the last place that the Tsilhqot’in communities want a mine.
The location is above the watersheds of the Taseko and Chilcotin rivers and not that distant from Fish Lake (known to the Tsilhqot’in as Teztan Biny), where the First Nation fought a decades-long battle against the Prosperity and then New Prosperity mine proposals of Taseko Mines Ltd.
“This Ike (exploration), we’re not going to agree to,” said Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, part of the Tsilhqot’in National Government. “Fish Lake, Teztan Biny, was a sensitive area. This is as sensitive, even more because it’s more above the Taseko Lakes and all our fish (and) salmon runs.”
The mineral discovery lies in an area the Tsilhqot’in has declared a tribal park that they call Dasiqox, William said, which makes it a “no-go zone” for exploration. He said they’ve opposed permits that the province has granted for exploration work this year and the two previous exploration seasons.
For the rest of this article, click here: http://vancouversun.com/business/local-business/is-ike-the-next-battleground-between-first-nations-and-resource-development