Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Innu nations in Quebec on verge of historic land settlement that would give them greater autonomy (National Post – February 7, 2016)

After decades of a David versus Goliath struggle with the federal government, three small Innu nations are on the verge of securing a land claim settlement unlike any other in Canadian history.

The treaty would see the First Nations and Quebec governments co-manage a territory 16 times larger than the island of Montreal — setting aside certain areas for conservation and opening others up to mining partnerships with the Innu.

It would also guarantee royalties of at least three per cent for the group on all development within their vast traditional territory — centred in Quebec’s Saguenay and Côte Nord regions. The Innu would retain exclusive hunting, fishing and logging rights on most of the 8,000-square-kilometre land mass. Continue Reading →

De Beers halts exploration of diamond mine near Attawapiskat, Ont. (CBC News Sudbury – February 08, 2016)

Bulk sampling of mine extension may be pushed back as First Nation voices concerns

The De Beers diamond company has ceased exploration of the Tango extension near the Victor mine due to local pushback. The Victor mine is located in the James Bay lowlands of northern Ontario, and is the province’s only diamond mine.

DeBeers is hoping to extend mining operations into a nearby deposit called Tango, but first needs to determine it’s feasibility. The company said the exploration is required as the Victor mine enters its final years.

Tom Ormsby, a spokesman for De Beers Canada, said the company has halted its plan to take a bulk sample of the new mining grounds. Continue Reading →

Mild winter blocks access to ice roads in remote Ontario reserves – by Julien Gignac (Globe and Mail – February 6, 2016)

Many remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario are suffering the effects of one of the mildest winters on record: Roughly 60 per cent of ice roads connecting dozens of reserves to southern municipalities have yet to open. Most of those that have opened can only sustain light traffic – snowmobiles or small, half-ton trucks.

Frigid temperatures are welcomed in the region, as ice roads function as lifelines to otherwise landlocked First Nations, expediting the transportation of such supplies as diesel fuel, building materials and food. Sometimes community members themselves make the trip to Thunder Bay to stock up on essentials. Without winter roads, northern communities have been forced to ship supplies by air, a costly endeavour.

“Nothing’s moving,” said Darrell Morgan, president of Morgan Fuels, which is a top distributor of fuel in the Northern Ontario region. “The lack of ice is a tough go. We supply some communities with fuel through air freight, but it’s extremely expensive.” Continue Reading →

Miners and aboriginals in Canada: I’ll see you in court (The Economist – February 6, 2016)

Indigenous groups are suing loggers, miners and pipeline-builders

Ottawa – “YOU want certainty? Knock at our door and ask our permission.” Dean Sayers, chief of the Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways, a Canadian indigenous group, delivered this blunt advice to a room packed with mining executives last year.

He came to the industry’s annual convention because he was tired of “the hillbilly attitudes” of developers “who want to do business in our neck of the woods”, on the north-eastern corner of Lake Superior. In 1849 Ojibways fired a cannon into a copper mine that had gone ahead without their approval.

These days Canada’s aboriginal groups use public pressure, backed by legal action, to protect their lands against exploitation by outsiders. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Aboriginal think tank calls for ‘bold’ infrastructure development in Far North – by John Cumming (Northern Miner February 2, 2016)

With the new federal government having vowed in its election platform to improve the lives of Aboriginal Canadians and spend tens of billions on infrastructure projects to offset the economic downturn, it’s a perfect time for aboriginal groups to lobby governments to step up their investments in infrastructure investment in northernmost Canada.

And that’s exactly what the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEDB) is doing with its new report, “Recommendations on northern infrastructure to support economic development.”

Founded in 1990, NAEDB says its goal is to help Aboriginal Peoples in Canada become economically self-sufficient, and full participants in the Canadian economy. The NAEDB board is made up of 10 First Nations, Inuit and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, with Clarence Louie, chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in B.C., serving as chairperson. Continue Reading →

Roundup 2016: BC Minister Rustad encourages industry, First Nations to ‘build relationships’ – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – February 1, 2016)

VANCOUVER — B.C.’s Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad said at this year’s Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver that the provincial government is working with First Nations groups to better define their participation in resource development in the province.

“Our constitution has a clause in it that says aboriginal people have rights including title to the land,” Rustad said. “But it didn’t define what that means exactly. So over the years, courts have been coming down with some rulings and have given some definition to what this means.”

He referenced the precedent-setting Tsilhqot’in decision in June 2014, when the Supreme Court of Canada awarded primary control of nearly 1,900 sq. km of the land base in south central B.C. to the small Tsilhqot’in First Nation, based on their continuous, semi-nomadic use of the land over many centuries. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: MAC issues statement on Government Resource Revenue Sharing – Sharing of mining royalties between the Crown and Aboriginal communities

OTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ – The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and its member companies have issued a position statement communicating its support for a principled, open and transparent approach to government resource revenue sharing between the Crown and Aboriginal communities that are primarily affected by a specific resource project.

“With this statement, MAC’s members, comprising some of the largest mining companies in Canada, are voicing their collective support for greater participation of Aboriginal people, communities, businesses and governments in the mining industry. We believe that government resource revenue sharing is one of many important ways that we can achieve that,” stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC.

Government resource revenue sharing is understood as a sharing of resource royalties paid by industry to governments with Aboriginal communities. It is not an additional tax or royalty imposed on the industry. Continue Reading →

Junior miner takes B.C. to court over land transfer – by Iain Marlow (Globe and Mail – February 1, 2016)

A junior miner with offices in Vancouver and Beijing is taking the government of British Columbia to court over a treaty-related transfer of land to a First Nations group that the company says should concern all resource companies in the province.

China Minerals Mining Corp. and its subsidiary Cassiar Gold Corp. have filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia that seeks to reverse a portion of the B.C. government’s transfer of Crown land near the Yukon border in northern B.C. to the Kaska Dena Council.

The transfer was done through an incremental treaty agreement, an arrangement in which the province can grant treaty-like benefits to First Nations groups in advance of a formal modern treaty – a process that could take many years in a province where most First Nations never signed treaties. Continue Reading →

Exploration at standstill: prospectors – by Rick Owen (Kirkland Lake Northern News – December 14, 2015)

KIRKLAND LAKE – A Northern Prospectors’ Association member is involved in a process that includes the Wabun Council and the provincial government, in an attempt to coming to some sort of resolution that will allow prospectors back to work in the bush.

John Rapski has mineral claims that fall within Wabum Council’s traditional land, and he has been consulting for an extended period of time, to try and get access to explore his mineral claims. Currently, he is still being held on the sidelines instead of prospecting and exploring for new mineral finds.

Rapski said the problem is the Wabum Council wants prospectors to sign the same agreement that would apply to mining corporations and this doesn’t work for prospectors. He said if a prospector sighns the agreement they are personally libel and the agreement doesn’t look after the individual prospector. Continue Reading →

Editorial: Province should allow miners greater access to land for exploration (Vancouver Sun – January 28, 2016)

Although the high-tech and real estate sectors are accounting for ever-larger shares of B.C.’s GDP, it would be foolhardy to ignore the needs of a far more traditional economic driver — the mining industry.

Mineral exploration and development in 2014 employed some 30,000 British Columbians, with average remuneration exceeding $114,600, and the industry accounted for exploration spending of $338 million.

Mining is also the largest private-sector employer of B.C. aboriginal people. And it should be remembered that Metro Vancouver is action central for the mining sector, home to about 800 companies providing technical and other support services to the industry. Continue Reading →

The province is getting in the way of new mines: Study – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – January 27, 2016)

Familiar regulatory barriers hampering nine mining projects in northwest

Exorbitant hydro rates, a myopic First Nations consultation process and an onerous environmental review system — a familiar trio of regulatory barriers — are hampering the development of new mines in northwestern Ontario, a new report says.

Regulatory barriers have halted the development of nine mines in northwestern Ontario since 2010, say the authors of a new report from the Northern Policy Institute.

Those nine proposed mining projects, which include Noront Resources’ Eagle’s Nest and Black Thor projects in the Ring of Fire, and Treasury Metals’ Goliath Gold project, had the potential to create 23,000 jobs and generate an estimated $135.4 billion in wealth, says the mining industry report. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Shrinking land base for mineral exploration in B.C. puts future industry at risk

New report highlights restrictive regulations, lack of clarity in land access and use policies

Read the full Land Access and Use Report here:

Prince George, B.C. — January 20, 2016 — The Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) is calling for action on the part of the Provincial Government in the wake of a new report highlighting the shrinking land base available for the exploration of hidden and valuable minerals in B.C. as well as the increasingly complex government policies that exploration companies are forced to navigate.

Without ongoing exploration there can be no new discoveries, and without new discoveries, the future of the industry will be limited. As a result, thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual economic impact could be put at risk. Continue Reading →

Resource development key to improving life in North, says new study – Hilary Bird (CBC News NOrth – January 20, 2016)

National Aboriginal Economic Development Board advises federal gov’t on aboriginal economic development

An Aboriginal development think-tank says the North has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the quality of life of its people. Its answer: more resource development.

The National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEDB) released its report, entitled Recommendations on Northern Infrastructure to Support Economic Development, on Wednesday morning.

NAEDB is an advisory group on Aboriginal economic development for the federal government and is headed by First Nations leader and B.C. businessman Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: NAEDB recommendations signal a critical moment for infrastructure investment in Canada’s North

Ottawa, ON – January 20, 2016 – The National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEDB), has released their Recommendations on Northern Infrastructure to Support Economic Development. The recommendations address the significant infrastructure deficit in Canada’s North which acts as the predominant barrier to economic and business development in the region and the improvement of the quality of life in northern Indigenous communities.

“Not only is more infrastructure funding needed. The North should have its own specific strategy based on the recommendations we have developed for the Government of Canada,” said Hilda Broomfield Letemplier, of NAEDB’s Northern sub-committee.

The Board has found that because of the unique challenges faced in Northern regions, large, nation-building infrastructure is required alongside increased investment in community level infrastructure to support Northern communities. Continue Reading →


January 15, 2016 – Minister’s Mining Advisory Council Shows Results of Co-operative Relationships: Minister Chomiak

Manitoba is committing to share up to 25 per cent of mining taxes on new mines with Indigenous communities, Mineral Resources Minister Dave Chomiak announced today.

“Indigenous communities that want to participate in the mineral resources industry will be partners every step of the way as new mines are brought on line and they will share in the benefits of resource development,” said Minister Chomiak. “There will be new training opportunities, good jobs, revenue sharing and a range of social and economic benefits for Indigenous communities. This will also send an important message to those who want to invest in Manitoba’s mining sector that we’re open for business.”

The announcement is part of a number of results out of the Minister’s Mining Advisory Council (MMAC), which was formed in 2013 to bring leadership from Manitoba, First Nations and industry together to strengthen Manitoba’s investment climate, and develop a collaborative decision-making process to improve Indigenous participation throughout the mining cycle. Continue Reading →