17th April 2014

Muskowekwan First Nation votes to approve on-reserve potash project – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 16, 2014)


TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Project developer Encanto Potash on Wednesday reported that the Muskowekwan First Nation (MFN) had voted with a strong majority in favour of continuing to develop the first producing potash mine on First Nation land – the MFN’s reserve, located 100 km north-east of Regina, Saskatchewan.

The two project partners said that six ballots for the MFN surface designation vote had passed, including those allowing Encanto to build and operate a potash solution mine on both reserve land and pre-reserve land and to lease certain areas in support of the mine.

The project is being undertaken by First Potash Ventures, a partnership between Encanto Potash and Muskowekwan Resources, which is owned by the MFN. The project is expected to provide economic opportunities for the MFN, as well as the surrounding area, by providing training and employment opportunities during the construction and operation of the mine.

“Once again, my people have demonstrated that we are interested and greatly in favour of seeing an operating potash solution mine on our land and enjoying the associated benefits through educational advancements, increased employment opportunities and self-sourced revenue generation,” MFN chief Reginald Bellerose said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Potash/Phosphate, Saskatchewan Mining | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

Bands go to bat for Ring of Fire road – by Staff (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – April 15, 2014)

Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

Two First Nations that stand to benefit economically from the development of the Ring of Fire mining belt have “reaffirmed” their commitment to support a north-south road into the mineral-rich region.

“The development of the Ring of Fire requires infrastructure, and the first priority is to build a road that will allow people and goods to move,” Marten Falls and Aroland said Monday in a joint news release.

The two bands also expressed a willingness to “work with mining companies, governments and other partners” to ensure First Nations benefit form any development.

Potential chromite and nickel mines are located in the Ring of Fire about 550 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. Chromite is an ingredient in stainless steel.

A 340-km north-south road into the Ring of Fire proposed by Cliffs Natural Resources was kiboshed last fall when Ontario’s Mining and Lands Commission ruled it would infringe on mining claims held by other companies. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

15th April 2014

First Nations proposes Northern Gateway pipeline alternative following plebiscite setback – by Yadullah Hussain and Jeff Lewis (National Post – April 15, 2014)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

TORONTO/CALGARY — As Enbridge Inc. reels from the rejection by residents of Kitimat, B.C. of the Northern Gateway pipeline, a First Nations-led consortium is seeking to build an alternative project that would link Alberta’s oil sands to the British Columbia coast.

Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings Ltd. and Vancouver-based Aquilini Group say they have signed non-disclosure agreements with a “substantial number” of First Nation groups in northern B.C., including some “staunchly opposed” to the Enbridge project.

The one-million barrel-per-day pipeline has a tentative 2020 start date once it secures a “social licence” from First Nations to operate, the group said at a media conference in Vancouver on Monday.

“The only licence that matters to do this [project] in British Columbia is the social licence from the First Nations community,” said Calvin Helin, chairman and president of Eagle Spirit Energy Holdings, noting that he spent a year and a half listening carefully to the feedback from and concerns of First Nations. The group will file an application with the National Energy Board only after it has addressed all First Nations’ concerns and issues. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image | 0 Comments

14th April 2014

First Nations’ Remarkable Legal Winning Streak – by Shiri Pasternak (The Tyee.ca – April 10, 2014)


‘Resource Rulers’ says industry ignores at its peril wave of ‘native empowerment.’

When news media pay attention to books about Indigenous people in Canada, they tend to select those that stick to a particular script. Flanagan, Alacantra and Le Dressay’s Beyond the Indian Act, Widdowson and Howard’s Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry, and Calvin Helin’s Dances with Dependencyall received extensive coverage by the national press upon release.

These books, while different in content, share in common the characterization of Indigenous economies as dependent systems. The solution to achieving self-determination is always conflated with free market access. And while these authors are careful to situate the poverty in First Nations communities within a historical context of land dispossession and legislative discrimination, they are equally careful to avoid analyzing inequalities in systems of free market capitalism.

Now it is Bill Gallagher’s self-published book Resource Rulers that is getting all the attention. It is an engaging read that argues the legal winning streak of First Nations in resource conflicts (he counts over 150) should put industry on notice to comply with their expanding obligations to Indigenous peoples. Each chapter in the book surveys a different region or province, highlighting what Gallagher perceives to be the key legal victories of “native empowerment.”

Striking a tone of caution to industry regarding native rights, is Resource Rulers thematically apiece with the usual populism described above? Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media | 0 Comments

14th April 2014

Vancouver Island First Nation declares ‘tribal park’ to protect land – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – April 13, 2014)


Latest park meant to thwart potential Imperial Metals mining project near Tofino

The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation on Vancouver Island has used a unilateral tribal park declaration to try to control development on their traditional territories. The Tranquil Valley tribal park in Clayoquot Sound — where Imperial Metals is investigating the possibility of a mine — is the third tribal park the First Nation has declared.

The Tla-o-qui-aht has declared this territory, about 20 kilometres northeast of Tofino, off limits to mining activity after the province issued a gold exploration permit to the Vancouver-based company last summer.

While tribal parks have not been recognized by the province, Parks Canada worked with the Tla-o-qui-aht on a “tribal parks establishment project” in one of its declared parks in 2009.

The tribal parks are meant to create a management system to protect the land, but also create sustainable jobs. The Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has done that, for example, with hatchery programs to improve fisheries, bear watching and run-of-the-river hydro projects. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Conflict | 0 Comments

14th April 2014

On the road to reconciliation, tension between miners and Aboriginals grow – by Henry Lazenby (MiningWeekly.com – April 11, 2014)


TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – While Canada has come a long way in reconciling pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty with assumed Crown sovereignty, tension is rising between the proponents of several new mining projects located on Crown lands, or within Aboriginal reserves, and Aboriginals, who increasingly assert their rights.

In recent weeks, several Aboriginal communities have voiced their concerns regarding proposed mining projects, insisting on their right to self-determination.

For example, this week the West Moberly First Nations were in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in Nanaimo, where they argued their case against a proposed coal project in an area 34 km north of Chetwynd, in north-east British Columbia, which had been deemed of “critical spiritual and cultural importance” by the community.

Last summer, the Energy and Mines Ministry issued mining permits to Canadian Kailuan Dehua Mines – a Chinese-backed mining company – for its Gething project, authorising the company to remove 100 000 t of material, transport 15 000 t of coal and construct the main components of a mine that would operate for about 30 years. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

10th April 2014

Why privatizing First Nation resources is a really dumb idea – by James Munson (ipolitics.com – April 10, 2014)


In the clamour of capitalism that is the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada convention in Toronto, at least one tiny mining company wasn’t willing to move with the pack.

Golden Predator Mining Corp., a junior with gold properties in the Yukon owned by Americas Bullion Royalty Corp., has had its life made complicated by aboriginal land right regimes in the territory, but it wasn’t willing to criticize those rights as a whole.

Janet Lee-Sheriff, vice-president of communications and First Nations relations for the firm, refused to describe a 2012 Yukon Court of Appeal decision as a hindrance to business, as many in her industry have over the past year. The decision, which expanded a company and mining department’s duty to consult an aboriginal community all the way up to the early staking process, wasn’t a bad thing if you knew how to engage a community, she said.

The Fraser Institute couldn’t disagree more. And it couldn’t be more presumptuous. The policy direction of the last 40 years – whereby negotiations, agreements and Supreme Court decisions have grown and expanded aboriginal rights over resources to ever-unprecedented levels – hasn’t been a good thing for miners, according to one of the authors of Divergent Mineral Rights Regimes, a report released by the institute last week. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

9th April 2014

“The Next Big Thing” for Canada [Resource Development] – by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney (Ottawa – April 8, 2014)

CANADA 2020 – http://canada2020.ca/

“Northern Ontario’s “Ring of Fire” is a classic example of our potential and our problem. It has been
described as “the most promising mining opportunity in Canada in a century”. And yet, despite its
unparalleled potential, the project has been hamstrung for years by uncertainties about aboriginal
concerns, by infrastructure limitations and environmental challenges. If properly developed,
significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, platinum, vanadium and gold could contribute more
than $25 billion in economic activity and almost $7 billion in government revenues. What is
desperately needed is a concrete action plan and an enhanced spirit of partnership to bring that
promise to life.” Right Honourable Brian Mulroney (Ottawa – April 8, 2014)

“The Next Big Thing for Canada”

Thank you, John, for your most generous remarks.

Let me also congratulate you and your Government for the forthright position you are taking on the lawless takeover of Crimea. The principles and values we cherish in Canada should be the constant rudder for actions we take on foreign policy. History teaches us eloquently what happens when violations of international law and national sovereignty are ignored in the interest of expediency.

As the first G7 country to recognize the newly independent Ukraine in 1991, Canada should be in the vanguard of those safe-guarding its fundamental freedoms and staunchly supporting those seeking to reinforce that independence. Your invitation tonight presents a great challenge : What is “the next big thing” for Canada? Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Oil and Gas Sector-Politics and Image, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

9th April 2014

NEWS RELEASE: AurCrest Announces Proposed Lac Seul / Cyr Drilling Summer Drill Program

APRIL 9, 2014 (TSXV Symbol: AGO)

Toronto, Ontario April 9, 2014 – AurCrest Gold Inc. (the “Company” or “AurCrest”) (TSX-V: AGO) is pleased to report that it has begun discussions with the Lac Seul First Nation and Cyr Drilling to work out a creative arrangement to train Lac Seul First Nations band members as certified drillers. This solution to the current exploration market would continue the drilling for gold within the ‘Jacquie-Girl’ iron-formation discovered in 2012 on AurCrest’s Richardson Lake Gold project. Due to the difficult market conditions, the Company’s 2013 drill season was cancelled and there has not been any follow-up drilling on the discovery-hole announced in April of 2012 (see the Company’s press release dated April 30, 2012).

The parties have agreed to work towards an arrangement that would commence a summer drill program in June of 2014 at Richardson Lake. A Cyr Drilling drill rig remains on the Richardson Lake Property and will be used to drill the Richardson Lake discovery without the Company incurring any mobilization costs. Equally as important, this will further the drill training, apprenticeship and certification of a number of Lac Seul band members, who have otherwise been unable to find certification/apprenticeship in these markets, and complete their training as qualified drill helpers.

Ian Brodie-Brown, President of AurCrest stated: “We would like to thank Lac Seul for bringing this creative approach to the Company and Cyr Drilling for participating in these talks. We believe these creative discussions will lead to an arrangement that will provide our shareholders with a new opportunity during these very difficult times in the exploration industry.” Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

8th April 2014

PROSPECTING FOR CHANGE: Barriers and Proposed Solutions for Northwestern Ontario Explorers (October 2013)

Industry Roundtable


A number of mining and exploration companies operating in Northwestern Ontario “NWO” have identified that they are experiencing significant barriers in advancing projects. In an effort to promote NWO as a jurisdiction that supports and encourages responsible natural resource development, industry members facilitated a forum for discussion.

A roundtable discussion with executives and professionals from the mining industry was held on September 16th, 2013 in Thunder Bay, ON and was facilitated by the office of the Thunder Bay Economic Development Commission. The primary objective of the discussion was to identify barriers exploration and mining companies are experiencing in advancing projects in NWO, and to outline solutions for overcoming the same.

Although representatives from all stages of the mining cycle were invited to attend, the participants were primarily comprised of exploration companies with projects at an advanced stage of exploration. All projects discussed are subject to Ontario regulations, policies and standards.

The roundtable agenda items discussed:

1. Ontario Mining Act – Plan and Permits (Exploration) & Mineral Development
(Advanced Exploration and Closure Plan Process)
2. CEAA/MOE Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

7th April 2014

Grassroots mineral exploration is undergoing a massive decline – by Ed Thompson (Canadian Mining Journal – April 2014)

The Canadian Mining Journal, is Canada’s first mining publication.

E. G. Thompson has worked in the exploration industry for over 50 years and been associated with a number of successful mining companies.

With both the senior and junior mining/exploration companies facing a plethora of problems, grassroots exploration is undergoing a dramatic decline as the industry comes off its recent highs.

Most of the senior companies have had massive cost overruns on their projects due to a combination of inflation , permitting , environmental and social costs and delays and difficult engineering supervision in their attempts to develop large projects in remote areas of the world.

Virtually no major mining project performed to specification and the financial markets have downgraded these companies. Lower metal prices, especially for gold, and many governments raising taxes, have exacerbated the situation.

This negative publicity has not been lost on the investor who understandably says “If the majors can’t perform, why should I risk my money on juniors?”  Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Ontario Mining | 0 Comments

4th April 2014

KWG V-P blames province for stalling Ring of Fire development – by Jonathan Migneault (Northern Ontario Business – April 4, 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

The province was “blinded” by Cliffs Natural Resources’ promises to invest in the Ring of Fire to the detriment of the project’s development, said Moe Lavigne, KWG Resources’ vice-president of exploration and development.

“At least from the provincial point of view, they were enamoured with Cliffs, and the fact Cliffs had $3.5 billion in their pockets ready to invest, and they shuttered out everything else,” Lavigne said at a Sudbury Chamber of Commerce event, April 3. “Now that has blown up.”

In 2009, the Toronto-based junior miner began staking mining claims in the Ring of Fire for a future railroad from its isolated Big Daddy chromite deposit in the James Bay lowlands, heading south for 328 kilometres to a point on the Canadian National Railway’s main line, just west of the village of Nakina in northwestern Ontario.

Both KWG and the Ohio mining giant were development partners in the Ring at one time, but had a falling out. Later, when Cliffs approached KWG to gain access to its transportation corridor, KWG refused and the matter went to the Ontario Mining and Lands Commissioner. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

4th April 2014

Feds reach $5.15B settlement over [Arizona] mining cleanup – by FELICIA FONSECA, ERIC TUCKER and DINA CAPPIELLO (Associated Press – April 04, 2014)


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) – For decades, uranium ore was mined from the Lukachukai Mountains of northeastern Arizona, providing Navajos with much-needed employment but leaving behind a legacy of death and disease on the reservation.

Uranium waste was thrown over the mountainside and carried by rain across the remote but scenic land used by hikers, anglers, medicine men and Navajo shepherds. The roughly 50 mine sites were eventually abandoned without cleaning up the contaminated waste.

The Navajo Nation now has its best chance yet to address what has been a source of heartache for families. The federal government announced Thursday that it reached a $5.15 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for the cleanup of thousands of long-contaminated sites nationwide. About $1 billion will go to the 50 sites on the country’s largest American Indian reservation.

The settlement that resolves a legal battle over Tronox Inc., a spinoff of Kerr-McGee Corp., is the largest ever for environmental contamination. The bulk of the money – $4.4 billion – will pay for environmental cleanup and be used to settle claims stemming from the legacy contamination. Anadarko acquired Tronox in 2006. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, International Media Resource Articles, Mining Environmental and Water Shortage Issues, United States Mining and History, Uranium | 0 Comments

3rd April 2014

NEWS RELEASE: The Fraser Institute: Providing First Nations With Mineral Rights May Help Ease Uncertainty Over Canadian Mining Development

Click here for copy of: Divergent Mineral Rights Regimes

CALGARY, ALBERTA–(Marketwired – April 3, 2014) - Canada could improve its attractiveness for mining investment by allowing private ownership of mineral rights, particularly if mineral rights were given to First Nations, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Mining development in Canada is fraught with uncertainty related to First Nations land claims and requirements that miners consult with First Nations. The result is often endless rounds of negotiations with no end in sight,” said Kenneth Green, senior director with the Centre for Natural Resources at the Fraser Institute.

“Providing First Nations with private ownership of mineral rights will create a framework grounded in property rights and common law that would bring clarity to negotiations between First Nations and miners over project development.”

The study, Divergent Mineral Rights Regimes, compares mineral law and policies in Canada and the United States. Mineral rights in Canada belong to individual provinces (the Crown) but can be leased to miners, allowing them to develop the resource. But miners must negotiate within this Crown-based ownership system, making development of mining opportunities in First Nations jurisdictions particularly challenging. By comparison, in the United States mineral rights are privately owned. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Canada Mining | 0 Comments

2nd April 2014

First Nations must be equal partners in Ring of Fire: Rae – by Jonathan Migneault (Northern Ontario Business – April 2, 2014)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Ontario has lagged behind other provinces – namely Quebec and British Columbia – when it comes to its dealings with First Nations, said Bob Rae. The former Premier of Ontario became the chief negotiator for the Matawa First Nations – representing nine Native governments – last year.

In his first role outside of the political arena on Parliament Hill, Rae has worked to develop a framework that would form the basis for a partnership between the Ontario government, the Matawa First Nations and the companies seeking to profit from the Ring of Fire.

Prior to a March 6 speech at Laurentian University, Rae said that Quebec and BC have have been much more open than Ontario to sharing management decisions with First Nations and granting authority to regional governments.

“If you look at the kinds of agreements that have been signed in other provinces you see very clearly that you’re looking at a way of not simply consulting with First Nations, but of giving First Nations the ability to take real responsibility for the building and management of infrastructure, the making of economic and social decisions, and participating fully in decisions affecting the natural environment,” Rae said. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

Advertising Info
Rated Top Mining Blog of 2011
The Northern Miner
Mining IQ
Canadian Mining Journal
The Sudbury Star
Mining: An Industry in Transition
Northern Ontario Business
Northern Life
IBA Research network
Earth Explorer