Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Inuit org completes first round of Mary River consultations – by steve Ducharme (Nunatsiaq News – November 23, 2015)

Residents of communities affected by the proposed Phase II expansion of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.‘s Mary River iron mine project got their first chance to say what they think about the proposal in a series of forums hosted by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association that concluded Nov. 16.

The QIA will use material from this community tour — the first of three — to help form its position at the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s upcoming environmental review of Baffinland’s proposed Phase II expansion.

“There was a really good turnout, right from elders down to youth that came to our open house and public meetings… there’s a lot of interest on the topic,” QIA President P.J. Akeeagok said. Continue Reading →

Ross River Kaska weigh benefits of massive lead-zinc mine – by Nancy Thomson (CBC News North – November 23, 2015)

Ross River Dena are weighing the pros and cons of the proposed Howard’s Pass lead-zinc mine, as they prepare to vote on a “socio-economic participation agreement” later this winter.

After months of negotiations, the Ross River Dena Council and Selwyn Chihong Mining Ltd. reached a preliminary agreement last month. It offers the Kaska, particularly the Ross River Dena, opportunities for training, employment and a share of the mine’s profits.

It also brings a whiff of opportunity to Ross River, one of Yukon’s smaller communities. According to the 2011 census, the average annual income in Ross River is just $31,000. Continue Reading →

Support for UN declaration on native rights may spell trouble for Canada’s resource sector – by Tom Flanagan (Globe and Mail – November 23, 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.

Tom Flanagan is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Calgary and chair of the aboriginal futures research program with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.

The new Liberal government says it will implement the 2007 United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. It’s no surprise, as the Liberals campaigned on it. Nonetheless, there is great potential for mischief here because the sweeping language of the declaration is inconsistent with well-established principles of Canadian property law.

Article 32 of the declaration would require Canada to obtain from indigenous peoples “free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories” for developing natural resources. Continue Reading →

Is Ring reality or myth: next 100 days will tell – by Stefan Huzan (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 8, 2015)

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

I believe the next 100 days will demonstrate if there is to be a new economic reality in Northern Ontario because Justin Trudeau, the new prime minister of Canada, has appointed Patty Hajdu, Thunder Bay-Superior North, to the federal cabinet.

After all, the biggest promise of the Liberal election campaign was multi-billion dollar investments for growth.

And, it is important to note that Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne had also won majority support of voters in 2014, to a large extent on the basis of similar promises of multi-billion dollar investment into infrastructure. Continue Reading →

First Nations, province co-operating in mining – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – November 19, 2015)

EFFORTS by the province and some Manitoba First Nations to work together in the mining industry are beginning to bear fruit.

Two years ago, the province established a mining council made up of representatives of First Nations, industry and government officials.

The goal was to help smooth what had been a rocky relationship between the provincial mining branch and exploration and development companies and the First Nations whose resource lands were being affected by mineral exploration and development. Continue Reading →

What is the Ring of Fire? – Moving towards the sustainable development of this vital resource (Society Notes – November 17, 2015)

The official blog of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

The Ring of Fire refers to a 5,000 km2 area in the James Bay Lowlands (550 km north of Thunder Bay) considered to be one of the largest potential mineral reserves in Ontario. Containing chromite, nickel, copper, zinc, and gold, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce estimates that this region in the James Bay Lowlands could generate $25 billion in economic activity, creating thousands of new jobs across the province for 30 years.
Did You Know?

The Ring of Fire has been called a “once-in-a generation economic opportunity” and the “most promising mineral development opportunity in Ontario since the discovery of the Sudbury Basin in 1883 and the Timmins gold camp in 1909. Continue Reading →

De Beers seeks First Nation exploration support – by Tanya Talaga (Toronto Star – November 18, 2015)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

A De Beers Canada team from is visiting Ontario’s remote Weenusk First Nation, seeking community support to conduct diamond exploration work.

An exploration team from De Beers Canada was expected to be in northern Ontario’s remote Weenusk First Nation on Tuesday, to seek community support to conduct diamond exploration work.

Weenusk First Nation, or Peawanuck, is a small community of nearly 400 people, 1,400 km north of Toronto, on the shores of the Winisk River. Continue Reading →

Economic Development in Jeopardy? Implications of the Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Decision – by Ravina Bains (Fraser Institute Research Bulletin – November 17, 2015)


  • The Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto BC Court of Appeal decision opens the door for future aboriginal title litigation against private parties—litigation that was previously only brought against provincial and federal governments.
  • Following the BC Court of Appeal decision, First Nations no longer have to prove aboriginal title before bringing damages claims against private parties, such as resource companies. Simply claiming aboriginal title is enough to bring forward litigation against private parties.
  • In provinces like British Columbia where over 100% of the province is currently under claim, this puts all current and future economic development projects in jeopardy.
  • Specifically, this judgment could put the Kitimat aluminum smelter and the Kenney Dam, which has been operating for over 60 years with the support of Haisla First Nation, in jeopardy.
  • Just as the Tsilhqot’in decision resulted in increased litigation against the Crown, this judgement will now result in litigation against private parties regarding aboriginal title, which prior to this case was unprecedented.

Continue Reading →

Ministerial mandate letters point to greener Canadian economic priorities – by Henry Lazenby (November 14, 2015)

TORONTO ( – Canadian Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau on Friday took the unprecedented step of publicly releasing all ministerial mandate letters, as part of his plan for open and transparent government for Canadians, giving citizens a first glimpse of the new Liberal administration’s policy priorities.

“Real, positive change means new leadership and transparent government for Canadians. Our Ministers are being encouraged in their mandate letters to consult closely as a team, to listen and to carefully consider the expert advice of public servants. I am confident such measures will lead to better decision-making and results for Canadians,” he stated.

The ministerial mandate letters highlighted the government’s commitment to invest in jobs and growth for the middle class and those working hard to join it. They outlined the government’s progressive vision and provided a framework for what ministers were expected to accomplish, including specific policy objectives and challenges to be addressed. Continue Reading →

End head-butting over resource projects – by Carol Goar (Toronto Star – November 16, 2015)

The Toronto Star has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on federal and Ontario politics as well as shaping public opinion.

A think-tank has released a timely plan to make First Nations full partners in deciding how — and whether — to exploit non-renewable resources. One of the litmus tests of Justin Trudeau’s pledge to renew Canada’s relationship with First Nations will be his handling of resource development.

The current flashpoints are pipelines and petroleum. But the issue is bigger than that. It encompasses minerals, forestry, commercial fishing, electricity generation and waste management. These industries account for 20 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product. They all impinge on the rights, territories and way of life of life of aboriginal communities.

The only tool the federal government now has to reconcile these competing interests is a 40-year-old environmental assessment process, which is not meant for this. It was designed to identify and mitigate potential sources of pollution. Continue Reading →

[Ontario] Open the north; get on with it – Editorial (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 12, 2015)

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

Ontario has just completed the fourth Northern Leaders Dialogue. Provincial, municipal and indigenous leaders gathered in Thunder Bay to discuss issues around development and transportation, part of the province’s growth plan for Northern Ontario.

The advent of exploration around the rich Ring of Fire mineral belt has added urgency to the notion of opening the North. Yet there remains much indecision on whether transportation should be rail or road, east-west or north-south. Who should pay what share of the cost? While Ontario spins its wheels, what are neighbouring provinces and other jurisdictions doing?

In Quebec, 950 kilometres north of Quebec City, Stornoway Diamond Corp. invested $800 million in capital expenditures in the province’s first diamond mine. To provide year-round access, the province and Stornoway split the cost of building a 243-kilometre road serving one of 35 mines that the Quebec government estimates will be operating by 2020. Continue Reading →

[Ring of Fire] Access road priority: MP – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – November 7, 2015)

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

No “trained seal” this guy. Though he didn’t make it into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first cabinet, veteran Liberal MP Bob Nault said he’s confident a promised open style of government will allow him to make the case for pressing Northern issues, including a main access road into the Ring of Fire mining belt.

“You don’t have to be in cabinet to be effective in this job,” Nault (Kenora) said Friday. “We’re moving to a system where the roles of (backbench) MPs and Parliamentary committees are going to be strengthened.”
Chuckling, Nault added: “We don’t have to sit there like trained seals,” a reference to how Justin’s father, Pierre Trudeau, once viewed backbenchers.

Nault, who was Indian Affairs minister when he retired from politics in 2004 after 16 straight years in the House of Commons, said he decided to get back into federal politics because of what he saw as a top-down approach by the former Harper government. Continue Reading →

Webequie chief calls for true partnerships at mining summit – by Rick (Wawatay News – November 2015)

Webequie Chief Cornelius Wabasse called for “true partnerships” at the 4th Annual Mining Ready Summit, held Oct. 28-29 in Thunder Bay.

“That’s the way going forward for us to have a step in the processes and also be part of the processes that are potentially going to happen in our area,” Wabasse said. “We have to have these agreements and they have to be real and they have to be honoured.”

Wabasse said his community does not want to sign agreements where “nothing is happening on our side.”
“We know that we have to work our part as well too to make that agreement become reality,” Wabasse said. “We need to understand as First Nations about that agreement, what we need to do to make that happen as well too.”

Wabasse said his community is not opposed to development. “We want to be able to benefit from our lands and resources,” Wabasse said. “We want to be able to benefit from any development that is happening in our area. Continue Reading →

Mining analyst Stan Sudol weighs in on Ring of Fire development – Interviewed by Up North’s Jason Turnbull (CBC News Sudbury – November 6, 2015)

This week at Queen’s Park, the PCs said the Liberals were planning a tax on chromite. Analyst Stan Sudol weighed in.

Click here for interview:

Noront CEO Al Coutts on Ring of Fire Road Infrastructure and Eagle’s Nest Mine – Interviewed by Superior Morning’s Lisa Laco (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 6, 2015)

Over the past few years the Ring of Fire has certainly cooled off. Al Coutts of Noront Resources talks about their plans… and keeping anxious investors happy.

Click here for interview: