Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Indigenous people find employment in Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Jeff Walters (CBC News Thunder Bay – October 20, 2016)

Noront Resources has over half of its staff comprised of Indigenous employees

The one company in the Ring of Fire still doing active exploration said it has already made a positive impact on neighbouring Indigenous communities. Noront Resources has set a target of having over half of its staff comprised of Indigenous employees. So far, the company has met the target.

“Even at an early stage, where we are today in terms of exploration, we want the communities to realize some of those benefits through jobs, through training,” said Ryan Weston, the VP of Exploration with Noront Resources. “So that in a longer term scenario, they will ultimately be believers in the benefits, the positive benefits that a mine would create here in the Ring of Fire.”

Although the camp itself has few staff at the moment, half of the workforce is comprised of Indigenous workers. Kevin Jacob is a member of Webequie First Nation, the nearest community to the Ring of Fire’s Esker exploration camp. Continue Reading →

Digging into diversity: Mining panel reflects on women, Indigenous inclusion in the workplace – by Ella Myers (Northern Ontario Business – October 20, 2016)

When Anna Tudela walked into her first mining conference, she was the only women in a room packed with men. She was sure she had found the wrong place.

On October 18, the vice-president of diversity, regulatory affairs and corporate secretary at Goldcorp was happy to see other women at the Maintenance, Engineering and Reliability/Mine Operations Conference (MeMO) in Sudbury, where she participated in a panel on diversity and inclusion.

She was joined by Jennifer Maki, executive director of Vale Base Metals, and Sudbury’s Ron Sarazin, special projects coordinator at Gezhtoojig Employment and Training. The panelists tackled gender, Indigenous peoples, immigrant labour, and mental health and wellness in mining. Continue Reading →

Electrifying Ontario’s First Nations (The Agenda, Steve Paikin – October 13, 2016)

The Agenda’s Steve Paikin talks with Christopher Henderson, President of Lumos Energy and author of “Aboriginal Power: Clean Energy and the Future of Canada’s First Peoples” and Mitchell Diabo Project Manager at Kasabonika Lake FN and representative on board of Watay Power.

Rolling blackouts. Power surges. Diesel spills. A maxed-out power system that stalls any new development. This is life off the provincial electrical grid. But for 17 of Ontario’s 25 remote First Nations communities, hope for reliable energy is coming in the form of the Wataynikaneyap power project: a $1.35 billion, 1,500 kilometre First Nations-owned transmission line that will extend the provincial grid to these remote reserves. The Agenda convenes a panel on the state of this project and what it will mean for energy-impoverished communities.

Noront lobbies for road access to Eagle’s Nest – by Lesley Stokes (Northern Miner – October 11, 2016)

VANCOUVER — Noront Resources (TSXV: NOT) is encouraged that the Ring of Fire camp in northern Ontario, where the junior has its remote Eagle’s Nest nickel-copper and platinum group metal (PGM) deposit, has been designated a priority in Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Sept. 23 mandate letter to re-appointed Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle.

The most specific item in the letter is an instruction to Gravelle to “work towards upgrading existing roads and infrastructure in the region to connect with future Ring of Fire infrastructure, with a target of 2018 to begin road work.”

The nearest paved road from Eagle’s Nest is 280 km to the south, and Noront is looking for the provincial government to pay for and build an all-season, all-access road into the Eagle’s Nest site, which is the leading contender to be the first deposit mined in the camp. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation Re-affirm Jurisdiction for Ring of Fire Transportation Planning

MARTEN FALLS FIRST NATION, ON, Oct. 5, 2016 /CNW/ – Marten Falls First Nation (MFFN) and Aroland First Nation (AFN) re-affirm their jurisdictional authority over their respective territories in Northern Ontario, in light of recent Ring of Fire transportation plan announcements by the Government of Ontario, Noront Resources and KWG Resources. In the recent Ontario Speech from the Throne, Ontario said it “will continue to work with First Nations and other partners to move forward with greater access to the Ring of Fire and remote First Nation communities.”

“Greater access to the Ring of Fire requires greater access and use of the lands and waters over which our First Nations have jurisdiction,” said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation. “Our First Nations are determined that transportation planning for ‘greater access to the Ring of Fire’ must be fully inclusive of the First Nations whose rights and interests will be impacted‎ by transportation decisions. Our decisions will be based on seven-generation and sound environmental stewardship principles. Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation laws must be respected by all parties.”

“Our First Nations also expect mining companies to respect and abide by Ontario laws and decisions, especially the Terms of References for the Noront Resources Environmental Assessment,” said Chief Dorothy Towedo of Aroland First Nation. Continue Reading →

Pro-oil First Nations seek end to pipeline gridlock – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – October 4, 2016)

Environmental movement opponents of proposed pipelines have conveniently cast Canada’s 634 First Nations as a homogeneous block of like-minded partners. What’s not said enough is that many in fact support Canada’s oil and gas sector, are producers themselves or are benefiting from it through business partnerships and revenue sharing, and want to see pipelines move forward.

At a groundbreaking conference in Calgary Monday — entitled the Pipeline Gridlock Conference, a Nation-to-Nation Gathering on Strategy and Solutions — members of Canada’s aboriginal business elite met for the first time to improve dialogue on pipelines and look for ways to support approvals.

Stephen Buffalo, president and CEO of the Indian Resource Council, the conference’s organizer, said the meeting is expected to be the first of many and aims to come up with recommendations for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Continue Reading →

[Northern Ontario] Indigenous communities seek a fair stake in mining industry – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – September 27, 2016)

On any given day, Cheryl Recollet’s desk is littered with mining exploration plans, government notices, permit requests, and more, but with limited resources, it can be a struggle to vet them all in a timely manner.

Yet the people of Wahnapitae First Nation are determined to be active and educated participants in the resource development activity taking place in their traditional territory.

“We recognize that in order to make informed decisions, we must actively participate in the process,” said Recollect, director of sustainable development for Wahnapitae First Nation, located 60 kilometres north of Sudbury. “How do we make sure this information is getting to our leadership if we aren’t aware of what’s happening at all stages?” Continue Reading →

Timmins Chamber of Commerce wants clarity for relationship between private sector and First Nations – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – September 25, 2016)

Two policy positions proposed by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce to be added to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s federal lobbying efforts passed with the near-unanimous support of delegates at a national conference held in Regina this past weekend.

The issues the Timmins Chamber wants the federal government to be pressured to address are climate change’s impact on the winter roads system, and clarifying what exactly is expected of private companies when it comes to dealing with First Nations. Manager of policy, Nick Stewart, was one of two chamber of commerce employees to travel to Saskatchewan to pitch the policy positions to other delegates – who voted to approve both proposals with 98% in favour.

“There were 140 chambers from across Canada on hand,” said Stewart. “We’re convinced that these policies are not just good for us, they’re good for everyone from Red Deer to Fredericton … There are a lot of issues specific to Northern Ontario that we would love to push at the federal level, but if you can’t translate that to some broader national impact, you’re not going to get any support at all.” Continue Reading →

Chamber of Commerce resolution asks feds to lend more support to the Ring of Fire – by Staff (Sudbury Northern Life – September 23, 2016)

Resolution received majority support at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce AGM

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has received majority support for a resolution it submitted asking the federal government make the development of the Ring of Fire a national priority.

The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce submitted the resolution, called “Make the Ring of Fire a Priority of National Significance”, at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting and Convetion, held Sept. 17 to 19 in Regina. The resolution received support from 94.9 per cent of the convention’s more than 400 delegates, and has now become the official policy of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

“It was great to see our resolution about the Ring of Fire, a project located in Northern Ontario, be debated, voted on and successfully passed by delegates from across Canada and know that these delegates see this as a project of national significance,” said Tracy Nutt, chair of the board of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, in a press release. “This clearly demonstrates that the Ring of Fire is not just a vital project for Ontario, but for the entire nation.” Continue Reading →


Co-sponsored by the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce.


The Ring of Fire is a transformative project for Canada. Federal action is required to expedite the development of the Ring of Fire and ensure the economic and social potential of this nationally-significant, multigenerational project is realized.


The Ring of Fire is a mineral resource rich area of approximately 5,120 km2 located in the James Bay Lowlands region of Northern Ontario. There are a number of First Nations communities in close proximity to the Ring of Fire. Since the early 2000s, significant deposits of copper, zinc, nickel, platinum, palladium, vanadium, and gold along with the first and largest deposit of chromite in North America have been discovered. Based on current projections, the Ring of Fire is estimated to hold more than $60 billion in geological riches (1) with deposits being significant enough to sustain activity for a century. (2)

The Ring of Fire is not a Northern Ontario or Ontario project but will have far reaching impacts across the nation. In the first ten years, the GDP impact outside Ontario will range from $2.1 to $6.3 billion; in the first 32 years, the GDP impact outside of Ontario will range from $5.8 to $16.8 billion throughout the country. Continue Reading →

North American Aboriginals, First Nations join hands to thwart domestic oil development – by Henry Lazenby ( – September 23, 2016)

VANCOUVER ( – Canadian and Northern US Aboriginal groups and First Nations, this week, adopted the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, seeking to officially prohibit and collectively challenge and resist oil sands industry expansion in Alberta. This extends to preventing the transport of such expanded production, whether by pipeline, rail or tanker.

Some 50 First Nations and tribes have committed to stopping five current tar sands pipeline and tanker project proposals – Kinder Morgan, Energy East, Line 3, Northern Gateway and Keystone XL – as well as tar sands rail projects such as the Chaleur Terminals export project, at the Port of Belledune, in New Brunswick.

“What this treaty means is that, from Quebec, we will work with our First Nation allies in British Columbia to ensure that the Kinder Morgan pipeline does not pass and we will also work with our tribal allies in Minnesota as they take on Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion, and we know they’ll help us do the same against Energy East,” said Kanesatake grand chief Serge Simon. Continue Reading →

Tsilhqot’in First Nation says no to mineral exploration by Amarc Resources on its Ike prospect – by Derrick Penner (Vancouver Sun – September 20, 2016)

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. Continue Reading →

[Resolution Copper mine] Arizona: McCain, Kirkpatrick bet on 7,000-foot hole to victory (Environment & Energy Publishing – September 20, 2016)

The world’s two largest mining companies have dug a 7,000-foot tunnel in Arizona that Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick hope leads straight to the Senate.

Donald Trump’s controversial GOP run for president has helped put the state’s Senate seat in play even though analysts consider it to be reliably red. Arizona has backed a Democrat for president once since 1952.

Most recent polls have incumbent McCain ahead — some by a lot — of challenger Kirkpatrick, but other surveys have shown the five-term senator to be in a dead heat with the three-time congresswoman. Trump, immigration and other issues are dominating the political tilt, but little separates the candidates when it comes to the proposed Resolution Copper mine. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Priorities misplaced if overlooking benefits of new mine – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – September 20, 2016)

TIMMINS – You can’t blame De Beers Canada for hinging the future of its proposed Tango mining project on support from the community of Attawapiskat. After all, when you are operating a mine on the James Bay Coast, discontent among residents can fuel ice-road blockades and costly delays in operation.

De Beers knows first-hand about the cost of such delays, having endured blockades on the ice road in the past, often at the hands of disgruntled former employees who were demonstrating over a personal demand.

With the Victor Mine winding down operations, it makes sense for De Beers to be working towards a smooth transition from anticipated closure of the mine in 2018 to the opening of its new Tango Extension. De Beers, which has been working on the Tango Extension for the past five years, is keen on meeting its timelines. Continue Reading →

N.W.T.’s Gahcho Kué diamond mine marks grand opening today – by Kate Kyle (CBC News North – September 20, 2016)

Mine is estimated to become one of the 10 largest diamond mines in the world

Just over two decades in the making, Canada’s newest diamond mine is set to officially open Tuesday in the N.W.T. at a ceremony involving Indigenous leaders, mining and territorial officials. The Gahcho Kué mine, located on the tundra about 280 kilometres of Yellowknife, is estimated to be one of the 10 biggest diamond mines in the world.

The mine is poised “to help our people move out of that last rung on society’s ladder,” said Bill Enge, head of the North Slave Metis Alliance, one of six Indigenous groups who have signed confidential impact and benefits agreements related to Gahcho Kué.

The remote mine is co-owned by De Beers Canada (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 per cent). “It’s a very significant development in the Northwest Territories,” Enge said. Continue Reading →