Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

Environmental assessment sinks proposed Ajax mine near Kamloops (CBC News B.C. – December 14, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

The provincial government has opted not to issue an environmental assessment certificate for a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine near Kamloops, prompting applause from the city and local First Nations.

The 1,700-hectare Ajax mine proposed by KGHM would have been located about 10 kilometres southwest of Kamloops on the traditional territories of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation (SSN), Ashcroft Indian Band, Lower Nicola Indian Band and Whispering Pines/Clinton Indian Band.

According to a statement from the provincial environment and mines ministries, an environmental assessment found too many negative impacts for the proposal in areas such as air quality and local ecosystems. Continue Reading →

Long-awaited link to First Nation – by Larry Kusch (Winnipeg Free Press – December 12, 2017)

https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/

Berens River residents hope all-weather road boosts economy, tourism

The once-isolated Berens River First Nation celebrated the completion of a $200-million all-weather road Tuesday and the hope it will spur ecotourism and other economic opportunities.

The 2,000-member community greeted provincial Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler with soup, bannock with butter and jam, and tea after his four-hour trek from Winnipeg. “It’s supposed to be very beautiful in the summer, but driving up in winter was just magnificent,” Schuler said upon his arrival.

Berens River Mayor Allan Atlookan said community elders have spoken about a year-round road link for decades. Some have died before they could witness the realization of that dream. “It’s over 40 to 50 years in the making,” he told reporters in a telephone conference call.”It is an opening to the world out there for not just the local… people, but for tourism. The doors are starting to open up for us.” Continue Reading →

Noront expects to see roads to Ring of Fire in the new year (CBC News Thunder Bay – December 11, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/

It’s no secret that the Ring of Fire development, located approximately 575 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Ont., is expected to generate a significant amount of minerals, including nickel, copper and chromite.

And while the project has been stalled for some time due to the lack of road access, this past summer Premier Kathleen Wynn announced that the provincial government is ready and willing to work with a handful of nearby communities to develop a year-round road access to the mineral-rich area. Noront President and CEO Alan Coutts said roads are needed in order to move this project forward as “assets are stranded there” otherwise.

He said when the Premier made her announcement in August of 2017, she chose a few nearby communities with road proposals in place — Marten Falls, Webequie, Nibinamik as well as Aroland — to facilitate an all-season road access into the region and connect the communities to Ontario’s highway system. Continue Reading →

Ottawa says yes to Back River gold mine in western Nunavut (Nunatsiaq News – December 11, 2017)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

Canada’s federal government believes the Sabina Gold and Silver Corp.’s controversial Back River gold mine project should go ahead, Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said last week in a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board.

This clears the way for the review board’s issuance of a project certificate to Sabina by Jan. 4, following a teleconference workshop with stakeholders they hope to hold on Thursday, Dec. 14.

And today, Sabina said in a statement that the Nunavut Water Board has started looking at the company’s Type A and Type B water license applications for the Back River project, and that they hope to get those licences by the end of March 2018. Continue Reading →

Australia’s first Indigenous mine opens in NT – by Matt Cunningham (Sky News Australia – December 10, 2017)

http://www.skynews.com.au/

The colour of the dirt might have been different, but according to the Gumatj clan, the moment was no less significant.

At Gulkula in Northeast Arnhem Land, Gumatj leader Galarrwuy Yunupingu poured a handful of bauxite into the hands of Rio Tinto workers Jim Singer and Ken Kahler, just as Gough Whitlam had done with Vincent Lingiari at Wave Hill 51 years ago.

‘I feel proud. I feel more proud than ever before,’ Dr Yunupingu said. The moment marked the opening of the Gulkula Mine, the first Aboriginal owned and operated mine in Australian history. Continue Reading →

Nunavut’s Dolphin and Union caribou herd deemed endangered – John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – December 7, 2017)

http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/

A national committee of wildlife scientists now considers Nunavut’s Dolphin and Union caribou herd to be an endangered species. These stocky, large-hoofed animals spend their summers on Victoria Island and overwinter on the North American mainland. Their twice-a-year migrations across the sea ice of the Coronation Gulf have become increasingly perilous in recent years, as climate change causes the ice to freeze up later in the fall and to thaw earlier in the spring.

The growing use of icebreaking in the area is also being flagged as a major concern by scientists. The herd migrates across one of the routes of the Northwest Passage, which is seeing a growing number of transits.

And the herd roams not far from the proposed Grays Bay port and road that’s being aggressively pushed by the Government of Nunavut as a means of jump-starting mining projects in the region. Continue Reading →

Back River gold mine could break ground this spring in Kitikmeot – by Sara Frizzell (CBC News North – December 07, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/

Minister Carolyn Bennett has given Sabina Gold and Silver the go-ahead for Back River project

Sabina Gold and Silver announced Wednesday it had received approval from Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, to build a gold mine approximately 400 kilometres southwest of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

The minister’s decision follows approval of the Back River gold mine project from the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in July, after previously rejecting the project in 2016.

“The government of Nunavut and the Inuit associations have acknowledged for some time that resource development is an important part of their potential future, so they are always cautious about industrial development, including mining, but at the same time they’re very supportive,” said Matthew Pickard, Sabina’s vice president of environment and sustainability. Continue Reading →

Court upholds decision to block Taseko mine near Williams Lake – by Ana Rose Walkey (Globe and Mail – December 6, 2017)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A Federal Court judge has ruled against a contentious mine proposal in central British Columbia, upholding Ottawa’s decision to reject the project over concerns it would adversely affect the environment.

A pair of decisions, released this week, mark the latest blow for Taseko Mines Ltd.’s New Prosperity mine, which is opposed by local First Nations, has been rejected twice by the federal government and has been the subject of years of litigation. The company says it’s reviewing the court decision.

The New Prosperity project is a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine located 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, B.C., near the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation community, part of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Sabina Gold & Silver Reaches Major Milestone to Advance Back River Gold Project with Positive Decision from Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

http://www.sabinagoldsilver.com/

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sabina Gold & Silver Corp. (TSX:SBB.T), (“Sabina” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has received a positive decision from the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (the “Minister” or “INAC”) that the Back River Project (the “Project” or “Back River”) may move forward to the regulatory and licensing phase which would include completion of all necessary permits to commence mine construction.

In July 2017, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (“NIRB”) completed its review of the environmental assessment of the Project and recommended to the Minister that the Project should be given approval to obtain the required permits and licenses for mine construction and operation.

In a letter dated December 5, 2017, the Minister on behalf of the five responsible federal Ministers, accepted NIRB’s recommendation. The NIRB will now work towards issuing a Project Certificate for Back River, which will attach the terms and conditions for mine development, construction, operation and eventual closure. Continue Reading →

Commentary: SCC decision on Peel watershed in Yukon another win for First Nations – by Bill Gallagher (Northen Miner – December 6, 2017)

http://www.northernminer.com/

First Nations have just won an important lawsuit at the Supreme Court of Canada on account that the Yukon government had tried to do an end-run on their land claim settlements.

Readers who have followed my tracking of the native legal winning streak in Canada will be familiar with my preferred wording of “Land Rights” as the catch-all phrase whereby natives typically win in the resources sector since they have constitutionally-protected land rights that the rest of us don’t.

My message to government and industry is always the same: realize that natives are resource gatekeepers in Canada and work them into the project as the key local players that they are. Continue Reading →

Alaskan Native village, conservation groups sue BLM over mine on Chilkat River – by Kevin Gullufsen (Juneau Empire – December 5, 2017)

http://juneauempire.com/

The tribal government of Klukwan filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bureau of Land Management, accusing it of failing to protect culturally-important salmon habitat and world’s largest bald eagle congregation from mining on the Chilkat River drainage.

Filed in U.S. District Court on Monday, the suit alleges that BLM neglected its duties when permitting expansions of mineral exploration in the area in the last year and a half.

Permitting mineral exploration would eventually lead to the creation of a hard rock mine, the suit argues, which has been shown to negatively affect water bodies downstream. Mining companies conduct mineral exploration in hopes of documenting the existence of valuable ore bodies. Smaller exploration companies often then sell their claims to larger extraction companies after they’ve proved valuable. Continue Reading →

Ferrochrome Smelter won’t go where it’s not wanted, Noront – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – December 6, 2017)

https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/

Noront Resources won’t place a ferrochrome smelter in a community that isn’t totally comfortable with having one. Company president-CEO Alan Coutts further added they won’t process Ring of Fire chromite ore in Ontario – or Canada for that matter – unless his company can secure a favourable power rate from Queen’s Park.

“The level of comfort we get from the communities and the government will help us to pick the site and to make sure that we’ve got a viable long-term process.” Coutts shed some light on Noront’s thought process and approach in selecting a suitable host site for a proposed ferrochrome production plant.

Cutting the ribbon on a smelter could be five to 10 years away but there are 350 plant jobs at stake for a chromite processing facility that could potentially expand and create all kinds of industrial service and supply spinoff opportunities. Continue Reading →

Mining labour needs to be assessed in report – by Emma Meldrum (Timmins Daily Press – December 4, 2017)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – By next year, Northeastern Ontario will have a better understanding of mining labour force needs. The Far Northeast Training Board (FNETB) has contracted a consulting firm to research the labour force needs of mining operations, advanced exploration sites and mining supply companies.

Julie Joncas, executive director of FNETB, explained Monday that the information collected will help inform planning for training and employment initiatives so that people looking to enter the mining sector can acquire the skills they’d need.

The report will cover the entire districts of Cochrane and Timiskaming as well as the communities of Chapleau and Hornepayne. This will include communities on the James Bay Coast and past Kirkland Lake as far as the Quebec border. Continue Reading →

Supreme Court’s Yukon land ruling welcomed as new chapter for territory (Victoria Times Colonist – December 1, 2017)

http://www.timescolonist.com/

The Canadian Press: OTTAWA — First Nations, environmental groups and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver welcomed a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on wilderness lands Friday as a victory for the northern territory.

The unanimous high court ruling is likely to ensure ecological protection of much of the Peel Watershed, a swath of unspoiled terrain that covers an area the size of Ireland. The Supreme Court said the Yukon government “thwarted” the land-use process by improperly rewriting a plan for the watershed, which features rugged mountains and taiga forests.

Although Yukon lost the case that has been winding through the courts for years, the premier, who became leader only last December, hailed the ruling as an important step toward finalizing a plan that reflects a shared vision. Continue Reading →

How Quebec Cree avoided the fate of Attawapiskat – by Terry Milewski (CBC News Politics – May 14, 2017)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/

On the eastern shore of James Bay, a very different story

Freezing, mouldy homes. Sewage contamination. Sick kids. Unemployment. A blockade on the road to the mine. A hunger strike by the chief. That, it seems, is the news from the Cree of James Bay — at least, as it’s defined by the desperate community of Attawapiskat, in northern Ontario.

Before that, there was the news from nearby Kashechewan. Flooding. Despair. Suicide. And both James Bay towns endured fresh emergencies this spring as the annual meltwaters exposed, again, their rickety infrastructure.

But bad news makes headlines and good news usually does not. So we’ve heard all about the mess on the Ontario shore of James Bay — and next to nothing about the success on the eastern shore, in Quebec. Continue Reading →