17th April 2015

Floating nuclear power plants promise major savings for Arctic mines – by Peter Varga (Nunatsiaq News – April 17, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

Diesel-fuelled power “not sustainable for the scale of development we want to see”

Mining projects in Nunavut are saddled with high expenses that could discourage development. With that in mind, why not go for a tried and proven cheaper source of energy that can come and go on the high seas, and reach the territory’s coastal communities?

That’s just what Dunedin Energy Systems Ltd., an Ontario-based energy consulting firm, suggested when it pointed to “floating nuclear power plants” as an alternative energy source, April 16 at the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.

Nuclear power generators have been cruising the high seas in the ships of the world’s biggest navies since the 1950s, Peter Lang, president of Dunedin, told an audience at the symposium.

“Since then, civilian applications have come along,” Lang said during his presentation, adding that icebreakers and carriers powered by nuclear energy also sail the high seas.

A generator on a ship can produce more than enough for the largest mines now operating in northern Canada, at a fraction of the cost that diesel-fuelled power generators require, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th April 2015

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation Sign Ring of Fire Protocol Agreement – by James Murray (Netnewsledger.com – April 17, 2015)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

THUNDER BAY – The First Nations whose lands and resources will be most affected by the proposed Ring of Fire development met today to sign a protocol agreement. “This will not only be good for us, but will also be good for the exploration companies to know the protocols for exploration on our mutual traditional lands”, stated Chief Cornelius Wabasse of Webequie First Nation.

Marten Falls First Nation and Webequie First Nation today entered into a “Negotiation Protocol Respecting Early Exploration in the Ring of Fire”. The protocol strengthens the commitment of both First Nations to work together to advance their common interests in a coordinated manner while respecting their mutual and unique interests over their respective lands and approvals to use the lands.

The need for such a protocol is evidenced by over 100 mineral exploration companies that have staked claims and proposed other related developments in the Ring of Fire. Both Marten Falls and Webequie agreed that they had to be come together to set out their mutual expectations respecting early exploration activities in the Ring of Fire.

Within the Ring of Fire only Webequie and Marten Falls share a unique relationship with Ontario. The Government of Ontario entered into a Memorandum of Cooperation with Webequie and a Memorandum of Understanding with Marten Falls related to mineral exploration and development activities. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th April 2015

NEWS RELEASE: The Cree Nation keeps Uranium in the spotlight

QUEBEC CITY, April 16, 2015 /CNW/ – The Cree Nation has kept uranium in the spotlight this week, hosting the International Uranium Film Festival and participating in the World Uranium Symposium in Quebec City. The Cree Nation’s position against uranium development in Eeyou Istchee, its territory in Northern Quebec, has garnered support not only from the people of Quebec, but also from the national and international experts and celebrities gathered this week for both events.

“We have always maintained that once Quebecers learned what the Cree Nation has come to know about uranium mining and radioactive waste, they would stand with us. This past year has proved this to be true,” said Grand Chief Dr. Matthew Coon Come. “We have proudly partnered with the International Uranium Film Festival to show Quebecers that the world stands with us as well. We have been very pleased by the turnout and interest this event has generated both in Quebec and around the world.”

The Cree Nation’s stand against uranium development began in 2008 when junior mining company Strateco Resources applied to the Quebec Government to pursue the Matoush advanced uranium exploration project. Located on the family hunting grounds of the Cree Nation of Mistissini, at the crest of two major watersheds that bring water throughout Eeyou Istchee, the Matoush project was the most advanced uranium project to date in Quebec. The Government of Quebec has since denied the required permit for the Matoush project, due largely to its lack of social acceptability amongst the Cree Nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th April 2015

Mining Uranium: Saskatchewan Cameco Sets the Standard – by Rick Littlechild (First Nations Drum – April 12, 2015)

http://www.firstnationsdrum.com/

The Athabasca Basin hosts the world’s richest high grade uranium deposits. Saskatchewan produces 30% of the world’s uranium, and one main player in this Canadian mining success story is Cameco. The company was formed in 1988, and for over a quarter century, the company has been safely and reliably producing uranium and nuclear fuel products. Cameco currently has three active mines in northern Saskatchewan: Rabbit Lake, McArthur River and Cigar Lake.

Last year, Cameco successfully commenced production at their new Cigar Lake mine in northern Saskatchewan. This year, their main focus is to safely ramp up production at the mine. They expect to produce 6 to 8 million pounds in 2015, which would make Cigar Lake the third largest mine in the world by production. By 2018, Cameco expect’s to produce 18 million pounds(100% basis) of uranium concentrate annually.

The ore mined at Cigar Lake is transported by truck to the Mclean Lake Mill operated by Areva Resource Canada Inc, where it is processed to Unranium concentrate. Mclean Lake Mill is located approximately 70 kilometres northeast of the mine site. Mining at Cigar Lake began in March 2014 and the first Uranium concentrate was packaged at Mclean Lake in October 2014.

The company has developed strong ties with aboriginal people, with an emphasis on partnerships, Metis Sean Wiilly has spent a career in mining and is very sensitive to Aboriginal relations stated that “ Our goal is to develop and maintain long-term relationships between First Nations and Metis communities near where we operate. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th April 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Mining vs. Aboriginal Rights in Canada – Rio Tinto told to pay its rent to the Innu People

LONDON, UK, April 16, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ – Three First Nations chiefs, dressed in traditional garb and aware of the historic nature of their action, have come to London to address the shareholders of mining giant Rio Tinto directly during their annual general meeting in today, April 16, 2015. On the floor of the meeting, they asked Rio Tinto’s president and CEO, Sam Walsh, and its board of directors to intervene to end a longstanding conflict between the Innu Nation in Quebec, Canada, and mining company IOC, majority owned by Rio Tinto.

Inspired by Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning, a political song demanding the return to Australian aboriginals of ancestral lands stolen 200 years earlier by British colonists, the Innu chiefs informed Rio Tinto that “it’s time to pay the rent,” 60 years after exploitation of their territory began.

Supported by international law recognizing that indigenous peoples have rights—notably free, prior and informed consent—the Innu chiefs wanted to inform Rio Tinto shareholders that they can shed light on the negligence of IOC in Canada.

The Innu chiefs sought to inform Rio Tinto shareholders that there is specific legal precedent in Canada, where a recent Supreme Court ruling recognized the existence of First Nations ancestral title and stated that Aboriginal peoples holding this title, including the Innu of Quebec, “have the right to the benefits associated with the land—to use it, enjoy it and profit from its economic development” (excerpt from the ruling). Read the rest of this entry »

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16th April 2015

Quebec plans $100-millon loan to troubled Nunavik mine – by Sarah Rogers (Nunatsiaq News – April 16, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

The Quebec government is prepared to loan $100 million through a government-linked investment agency to Canadian Royalties and its parent company Jien Canada Mining Ltd., which owns and operates the Nunavik Nickel mine.

The news comes just days after Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard re-launched the government’s Plan Nord, which promised to invest billions into building the province’s economy north of the 49th parallel.

But opposition parties in the National Assembly had questions April 14 about the government’s decision to invest in the Nunavik mine, given the premier’s background. Couillard was named to Canadian Royalties’ board of directors in 2009, a year after he resigned as health minister under the Charest government.

Couillard also sat on the board alongside Dr. Arthur Porter, the disgraced former CEO of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, who faces fraud charges alleging his involvement with a multi-million dollar, kick-back scheme linked to the construction of a new hospital centre.

Opposition MNAs suggested Couillard’s connection to the mining company raises a conflict in the face of such a large government investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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

15th April 2015

Canadian-Japanese partners eye promising copper project in western Nunavut – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 15, 2015)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

“We think we have a great start at building something terrific”

There’s something a little different about a new copper-silver project near Kugluktuk. This doesn’t come as a surprise because Matthew Hornor, president and CEO of a company called Kaizen Discovery, confided “our dream was to do things different” during an April 14 presentation to the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqaluit.

“Kaizen,” by the way, means continuous improvement in Japanese, a language that Hornor, who has a long-time relationship with Japan, speaks fluently.

Kaizen Discovery’s Coppermine project is one of two Nunavut mining projects with Japanese partners — the other being Areva Resources Canada’s Kiggavik uranium project whose minority partners include Japan-Canada Uranium Co. Ltd. and Daewoo International Corp.

Kaizen’s Coppermine copper-silver project, acquired last November, is also a newcomer to the western Nunavut mining scene. Hornor said he’s reluctant to make promises until the company is sure the resources are there to support a large copper-silver mine project.

But this fledgling project has a few things that make it stand out among the slow-starting, stalled or failed mining projects in Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region. Read the rest of this entry »

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15th April 2015

Northwestern Ontario Prospectors Comments on Renewing Ontario’s Mineral Development Strategy

The following letter outlines the Northwestern Ontario Prospector Association’s (NWOPA) recommendations for Ontario’s new Mineral Development Strategy. NWOPA believes that the new Mineral Development Strategy should focus on three main points:

1) Solving the problem of uncertainty of land tenure
2) Assisting prospectors and junior exploration Companies
3) Acquisition and dissemination of new, high quality geoscience datasets

Recommendations follow the discussion of each point below.

1) Uncertainty of Land Tenure

The new Mining Act has taken a once thriving industry and crippled it with new rules and regulations at a time when global markets are suffering. The new rules and regulations are enough of a deterrent to exploration; however, what has truly driven investors away from the province of Ontario and demoted Ontario to rank 23rd in Mining Attractiveness, according to the 2015 Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies, is uncertainty of land tenure. Ontario’s Mining Attractiveness ranking has been decreasing in recent years, down from 14th place in year 2014 and 9th place in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th April 2015

COMMENT: First Nations beating war drums – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – April 13, 2015)

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

I read a couple news releases last week involving complaints by First Nations about being left out of resource development decisions. No one doubts that they must be included. The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent rulings give weight to their claims.

But what is to be gained by opposing Noront’s desire to acquire those lands abandoned by Cliffs Natural Resources?

Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation put it thus: “With Noront’s announcement that it is trying to acquire the Cliffs assets, our First Nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms. This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our First Nations.”

To say the First Nations have been sidelined already is a bit premature. Unless the chief is intimating that the First Nations have the wherewithal (think money) to buy out Cliffs and stage a multi-billion-dollar resource development themselves.

If the First Nations have a beef with Noront or don’t want to meet the company to work out economic participation, why is that? Again and again Canadian companies have shown that they welcome First Nation participation on many levels. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th April 2015

Different Paths – Common Ground The viability of remote First Nations communities – by Peter Andre Globensky (Netnewsledger.com – April 14, 2015)

http://www.netnewsledger.com/

THUNDER BAY – This series of articles on the future viability of remote First Nations communities began with our article on the importance of education to the future of First Nations in Canada. We celebrated the fact that First Nations youth are graduating in ever-increasing numbers. This, despite a troubling paradox: the newly educated, “the brightest and best,” rarely return to their communities of origin as there are so few employment prospects for them. We further suggested that First Nations communities located within an urban ambit or adjacent to major transportation arteries are more likely to provide a future for its members when compared to remote communities accessible only by air or winter roads, and lacking few viable prospects for economic development.

We then named the elephant in the room. There is a creeping reality which has become extremely difficult for most remote First Nations communities to accept. A reality that their traditional subsistence economies have migrated from foundational livelihood to cultural artifact. While central to the Aboriginal worldview and sense of self, traditional survival activities have been supplanted by an ad hoc, impermanent wage-based economy and/or social assistance. Nevertheless, to First Nations peoples these homelands serve to connect “the extremities to the heart,” and home is where the heart is.

But what are the prospects for these communities? What are the chances that remote First Nations will be able to support a vibrant, culturally rich homeland while providing sustainable opportunities for economic growth and development? Development consistent with the Aboriginal respect for the intrinsic value of the land upon which their ancestors thrived and their spiritual connection to it? Read the rest of this entry »

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13th April 2015

First nations oppose Ring of Fire sale – by Staff (Sudbury Star – April 13, 2015)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Two first nation communities in the James Bay lowlands are protesting the proposed takeover of Ring of Fire assets by a Toronto-based company. In early March, Noront Resources Inc. announced it plans to buy the chromite assets owned by Cliffs Natural Resources, based out of Cleveland, for $20 million.

The chiefs of Marten Falls and Aroland First Nations, however, are now speaking out against this move, saying it will tread on their rights and prevent them from reaping the economic opportunities to which they are entitled.

“Our first nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms,” said Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation in a release issued Friday. “This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our first nations.”

Bruce Achneepineskum, interim chief of Marten Falls First Nation, said the deal represents an “old way of thinking” when it comes to development in native lands.

“Progressive mining companies are inclusive, share resources equitably with indigenous peoples, and know that only real partnerships protect our rights, interests and environment,” he argued in the release. Read the rest of this entry »

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

13th April 2015

On land title, which road will aboriginal groups take? – by Jeffrey Simpson (Globe and Mail – April 11, 2015)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

It will take some time to measure the impact of the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment on aboriginal title, and the significant additional powers it gives aboriginal groups with that title.

The judgment, nine months ago, involved the Tsilhqot’in Nation, with about 3,000 people. They had been fighting commercial logging since 1983 in the territory they claimed as theirs.

Courtesy of the Supreme Court, their aboriginal title was affirmed, which meant in layman’s language almost a de jure veto over anything done in that territory. The ruling was, of course, hailed by aboriginal leaders everywhere, but especially in British Columbia where there are few treaties.

Yes, the court said governments could assert some power to allow a development with a “compelling and substantial public purpose.” But in the real world, as opposed to the one of legal reasoning, such a showdown between a government’s “compelling and substantial public purpose” and an empowered aboriginal group would be messy at best and a stalemate at worst. A government would be very reluctant to put the amorphous “public interest” against a narrow but determined aboriginal one. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th April 2015

MEDIA RELEASE: FIRST NATION CHIEFS OPPOSE NORONT’S PURCHASE OF CLIFFS’ ASSETS IN THE RING OF FIRE

Aroland First Nation

Marten Falls First Nation

Marten Falls First Nation, Ontario – April 10, 2015. The Chiefs of Marten Falls First Nation and Aroland First Nation re-affirmed today their opposition to Noront Resources’ proposed purchase of Cliffs Natural Resources’ chromite assets.

Interim Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation and Chief Sonny Gagnon of Aroland First Nation met for two days this week with their advisors at a Bay Street law office in Toronto to review the status of the proposed Noront purchase of Cliffs chromite assets in the Ring of Fire. The Cliffs assets are in Marten Falls’ traditional territory. The proposed North-South corridor, which is essential to haul ore
out of the Ring of Fire, is in the traditional territory of both First Nations.

“With Noront’s announcement that it is trying to acquire the Cliffs assets, our First Nations have effectively been denied a real opportunity to benefit from key resources in our lands on our terms,” said Chief Gagnon. “This unilateral move by Noront is unacceptable to our First Nations.”

“We oppose this old way of thinking about mining and trampling on First Nation rights,” said Interim Chief Achneepineskum. “The world has changed. Read the rest of this entry »

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10th April 2015

Aboriginal Leader Says Consult or Risk Canada Resource Gains – by Greg Quinn (Bloomberg News – April 10, 2015)

http://www.bloomberg.com/

Canada’s top aboriginal leader warned that the country’s push for resource projects will be bogged down in legal and political strife unless governments consult more on revenue sharing and environmental protection.

“People won’t invest in Canada if there is instability, if there is no partnership with indigenous peoples,” Perry Bellegarde, leader of the Assembly of First Nations, said Wednesday in an interview at Bloomberg’s Ottawa office. He said disputes over resource rights with aboriginals will affect most of the estimated C$675 billion ($536 billion) of projects over the next decade.

Aboriginal power is growing, as was shown in recent court victories involving land-claim issues and the Idle No More street protests that began about two years ago, said Bellegarde, who in December was elected to head the group representing about 900,000 people in 634 communities. Leaders of Canada’s First Nations will choose from a range of political and legal “alternatives” if the government continues to fail to “consult and accommodate” aboriginals, he said.

“So how do you stop that? Check your political strategy, check your legal strategy, and people will probably get on the land to protect the land,” he said. The pressure will also include more political lobbying in the run-up to the federal election expected in October, Bellegarde said. Read the rest of this entry »

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9th April 2015

New Plan Nord calls for smaller investment as metal, mineral prices tumble – by Peter Hadekel (Montreal Gazette – April 9, 2015)

http://montrealgazette.com/

From the start, the Quebec government’s Plan Nord strategy to develop the resource-rich northern regions of the province has been more about marketing than anything else.

First conceived by then-premier Jean Charest in 2011, it called for $80 billion in public and private investment over 25 years. But critics pointed out that many of the projects would have gone ahead anyway and that the whole operation was a convenient way for Charest to grab some headlines.

Four years later, the current version of the Liberal government has dusted off the Plan Nord and relaunched it. True to form, the announcement Wednesday was a slick marketing presentation with a lot more style than substance.

While details were scarce, the new plan revealed the government is much less optimistic about the amount of investment expected. Instead of $80 billion, we’re talking $50 billion by 2035, said Premier Philippe Couillard.

Some $20 billion will come from Hydro-Québec in the form of new projects and $2 billion will be spent on public infrastructure like roads and airports. Read the rest of this entry »

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