28th January 2015

B.C. mining conference urges social engagement with First Nations – by Mark Hume (Globe and Mail – January 27, 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.

VANCOUVER — Mining executives may sometimes feel they face insurmountable problems in British Columbia, where the courts have reaffirmed aboriginal title over land and where environmental regulations seem myriad.

But participants at a major mining conference in Vancouver were told Tuesday that if the industry can come up with a new way of incorporating social and environmental issues into its planning, the province could emerge as a global leader.

“This community has everything in the world going for it – just don’t screw it up,” said Rick Rule, chairman of Sprott US Holdings and an expert on international resource investment.

The development landscape in B.C. has become more complicated since the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed last year that aboriginal title exists and that both government and industry have an obligation to consult First Nations over proposed projects.

But Mr. Rule and other speakers on a panel about aboriginal engagement said the ruling has clarified the legal ground rules and it is now up to industry and First Nation leaders to rise to the challenge of finding ways to move ahead. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

28th January 2015

In defence of Winnipeg – by Ken S. Coates (National Post – January 28, 2015)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

With its current edition, Maclean’s magazine has sparked a national debate about the nature and extent of Canadian racism. Through the simple device of calling Winnipeg the “most racist” city in Canada, it has shone a light on one of the greatest “wicked problems” (a complex problem for which there is no simple solution) in Canadian public life. But it moves us no closer to a resolution.

Racism is clearly part of the picture. But attaching it to the situation facing First Nations suggests that the solution lies in tackling the racists and changing their attitudes. That’s putting the cart before the horse.

Picking on Winnipeg also blames the city for demographic and social accidents beyond its control. The challenges facing indigenous peoples are particularly acute in cities with large aboriginal populations, both in percentage and absolute terms. In these cities — Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Calgary — the size of the First Nations population makes the issue a collective challenge and responsibility.

There are serious issues in the Manitoban capital. The migration of First Nations people from northern Manitoba, which has one of the lowest per-capita incomes in the country and many communities in serious crisis, exacerbates the existing problems in the city. For northern First Nations people, Winnipeg is an “arrival city,” a place that at least holds the promise of a better life and an escape from hardship. There is thus little reason for Canadians in other cities to look down their noses at those on the frontlines trying to deal with the legacy of Canada’s failed aboriginal policies. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th January 2015

Ring of Fire high on new deputy minister’s agenda – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – January 27, 2015)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North. Ian Ross is the editor of Northern Ontario Business ianross@nob.on.ca.

Dive into David de Launay’s bio and it’s easy to decipher how two decades of provincial policy and special project work have prepared him for the job as Ontario’s new deputy minister for Northern Development and Mines.

Not surprisingly, finding a way to jumpstart the stalled Ring of Fire project is top of mind for de Launey who slid into the chair in early January after his predecessor George Ross left last summer to take a similar posting with the Government of the Yukon.

De Launey is not a new player being introduced into the fray. He shifts over from Aboriginal Affairs where he was deputy minister. Prior to that he was assistant deputy minister with the Ring of Fire Secretariat, handling relations with First Nation communities impacted by the potential mine development, and served stints with Cabinet Office and Natural Resources.

He’s crossed paths with many of the chiefs and Ring of Fire mining executives, and recruited former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to serve as Ontario’s negotiator for the regional framework agreement. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th January 2015

News Release: Temagami First Nation and Pacific North West Capital Corp. Sign Memorandum Of Understanding For River Valley PGM Project, Sudbury

January 26, 2015 - Vancouver, BC; Pacific North West Capital Corp. (“PFN” and the “Company”) (TSX.V: PFN; Frankfurt: P7J.F; OTC Pink: PAWEF) is pleased to announce that the Company and the Temagami First Nation have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated December 5, 2014 in relation to PFN’s River Valley platinum metal project, located 100 road-km east of Sudbury, Ontario.

The MOU is designed to promote communication and foster a mutually respectful relationship, whereby Temagami First Nation are adequately informed and can provide input on PFN’s plans for exploration and development activities to be carried out on River Valley. The MOU provides a framework for how the two parties will work together to address potential impacts on Temagami First Nation rights and interests and confirms Temagami First Nation support for the Project.

Chief Arnold Paul of Temagami First Nation commented by stating “Mining in n’ Daki Menan has entered a new phase, The MOU recognizes that Temagami First Nation must be involved in a meaningful way in resource development projects. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with Pacific North West Capital Corp.”

Harry Barr, Chairman and CEO of Pacific North West Capital Corp. expressed the Company’s appreciation for the support and cooperation demonstrated by everyone involved. “We look forward to working with Temagami First Nation to ensure that the River Valley Project is advanced in the spirit of continued partnership, mutual respect and good faith.” Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd January 2015

B.C. First Nation to probe pollutants despite assurances from mine – by Mark Hume (Globe and Mail – January 22, 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.

VANCOUVER — A small native community in central British Columbia has launched a health study into the possible impacts of a copper mine, despite assurances from the company that its research shows there’s no reason for concern.

Chief Bernie Mack of the 180-member Esdilagh First Nation said as tailings from the Gibraltar Mine build up around reserve lands, concerns are growing that pollutants may be seeping into the ecosystem.

“Number one thing is, our community members fear the resources and the water around the mine are contaminated. So why we are doing this research is to find out how safe the ecosystem and the health of the environment is,” Mr. Mack said Thursday.

A research team from the University of Victoria and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, a Switzerland-based agency that works globally, will conduct the research. Mr. Mack said many Esdilagh members grew up with the mine almost in their back yards, but they have become increasingly concerned about the operation. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles, Mining Environmental Accidents | 0 Comments

23rd January 2015

Welcome to Winnipeg: Where Canada’s racism problem is at its worst – by Nancy Macdonald (MACLEAN’S Magazine – January 22, 2015)

http://www.macleans.ca/

How the death of Tina Fontaine has finally forced it to face its festering race problem.

“Oh Goddd how long are aboriginal people going to use what happened as a crutch to suck more money out of Canadians?” Winnipeg teacher Brad Badiuk wrote on Facebook last month. “They have contributed NOTHING to the development of Canada. Just standing with their hand out. Get to work, tear the treaties and shut the FK up already. Why am I on the hook for their cultural support?”

Another day in Winnipeg, another hateful screed against the city’s growing indigenous population. This one from a teacher (now on unpaid leave) at Kelvin High School, long considered among the city’s progressive schools—alma mater to just about every Winipegger of note, from Marshall McLuhan to Izzy Asper, Fred Penner and Neil Young.

Badiuk’s comments came to light the day Rinelle Harper—the shy 16-year-old indigenous girl left for dead in the city’s Assiniboine River after a brutal sexual assault—spoke publicly for the first time after her recovery. She called for an inquiry to help explain why so many indigenous girls and women are being murdered in Winnipeg, and elsewhere in Canada.

Badiuk’s comments came while the city was still reeling from the murder of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old child from the Sagkeeng First Nation who was wrapped in plastic and tossed into the Red River after being sexually exploited in the city’s core. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd January 2015

Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s. – by Scott Gilmore (MACLEAN’S Magazine – January 22, 2015)

http://www.macleans.ca/

For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national crisis?

The racial mess in the United States looks pretty grim and is painful to watch. We can be forgiven for being quietly thankful for Canada’s more inclusive society, which has avoided dramas like that in Ferguson, Mo. We are not the only ones to think this. In the recently released Social Progress Index, Canada is ranked second amongst all nations for its tolerance and inclusion.

Unfortunately, the truth is we have a far worse race problem than the United States. We just can’t see it very easily.

Terry Glavin, recently writing in the Ottawa Citizen, mocked the idea that the United States could learn from Canada’s example when it comes to racial harmony. To illustrate his point, he compared the conditions of the African-American community to Canada’s First Nations. If you judge a society by how it treats its most disadvantaged, Glavin found us wanting. Consider the accompanying table. By almost every measurable indicator, the Aboriginal population in Canada is treated worse and lives with more hardship than the African-American population. All these facts tell us one thing: Canada has a race problem, too.

How are we not choking on these numbers? For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national crisis? Why are governments not falling on this issue? Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd January 2015

Aboriginal revenue sharing is an idea whose time has come – by Gary Mason (Globe and Mail – January 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.

Current unpredictability in world oil markets aside, Canada’s economic prosperity lies in the development of its natural resources. What’s equally evident is that aboriginal communities are going to demand, and receive, a greater share of that wealth.

It wasn’t long ago that the notion of apportioning a percentage of resource revenue to First Nations was considered lunacy. But a series of court decisions over the past couple of decades has imposed a change of thinking on the country’s political class. Consequently, governments have slowly begun coming around to the idea there might be more to be gained by making aboriginal groups legitimate economic partners in resource development than by continuing to shut them out of the action.

But the approaches taken by provincial entities and territorial governments have been ad hoc, creating a patchwork of revenue-sharing arrangements. Some governments, such as British Columbia, have aggressively pursued these agreements, while Saskatchewan and Alberta remain holdouts.

In a well-reasoned paper being released Friday by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, author Ken Coates argues that it’s time for the country to more fully embrace resource revenue pacts as a means of improving the lives of First Nations people and creating a more stable resource development environment. Read the rest of this entry »

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23rd January 2015

Possible rail solution in Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 23, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The Mushkegowuk Tribal Council is considering the idea of teaming up with a Southern Ontario rail company to purchase the rail division of Ontario Northland with an eye to expanding rail service on the James Bay Coast and eventually to the Ring Of Fire mining development.

Mushkegowuk grand chief Lawrence Martin revealed Thursday afternoon that his organization has been approached by TGR Rail Canada Ltd, which is one of the companies bidding on the divestment of Ontario Northland Transportation Commission.

“They gave us a proposal to consider in which we would look at an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) to discuss the possibility of a partnership with them,” said grand chief Martin, speaking to the Aboriginal Energy Symposium.

He said TGR Rail Canada, based out of Toronto, is one of the companies approved by the province as eligible to purchase Ontario Northland rail operations provided they do it in a partnership with a Northern Ontario organization such as Mushkegowuk.

“At this point I can say it is a proposal. We are looking at it. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Mining Railway Issues, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

22nd January 2015

Commentary: The Peel watershed decision’s broader implications – by Keith Bergner, John Olynyk and Toby Kruger (Northern Miner – January 21, 2015)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry.

This past December, the Yukon Supreme Court handed down an important aboriginal law ruling that has implications for future mining operations in the Yukon. In The First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun v. Yukon (Government of), 2014 YKSC 69, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale held that the Yukon government’s modifications to the Peel land use plan did not respect the land use planning process set out in the final agreements (modern treaties) with the Na-Cho Nyak Dun, Tr’ondek Hwech’in and Vuntut Gwichin First Nations, and struck down the land use plan as a result.

The case marks the first time that a court has been asked to consider the meaning of land use planning provisions contained in the Umbrella Final Agreement between Canada, Yukon and Yukon First Nations, which forms part of 11 final agreements across Yukon. Among other things, the final agreements provide First Nations with the right to participate in land and resource management decision-making for Crown lands, including land use planning processes, in exchange for the release of claims to aboriginal rights or title to those lands.

While the decision deals specifically with the Peel watershed in northeast Yukon, the case will have direct implications for land use planning throughout the Yukon, and could have indirect impacts on consultative requirements under modern treaties for other governmental land and resource use decision making. Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd January 2015

NEWS RELEASE: Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nations and Ionic Engineering Sign Cooperation Agreement

(Greater Sudbury, January 21, 2015) Ionic Engineering of Lively (SAMSSA Member) and the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation have signed an agreement that outlines how the two organizations will work together to pursue projects in the Sagamok traditional territories and beyond.

The mutually beneficial agreement will see Ionic Engineering provide training and employment opportunities for members of the Sagamok community. With a demographic of mostly young people, First Nations people represent a significant labour resource for the entire Canadian economy. “Finding the right people for the right job is one of our biggest challenges” says Steve Matusch, President of Ionic Engineering.

Sagamok Anishnawbek Chief, Paul Eshkakogan is excited about this partnership stating that “our young people want to work for companies that respect and appreciate their abilities. Working with a technology company on industrial projects is exactly the kind of focus that we are looking for”. Boasting a population of nearly 2000, and being in close proximity to Ionic’s Sudbury office, this partnership bodes well for both parties.

The two organizations hope to work together to secure projects in mining, forestry and power generation. With a number of projects currently taking place on Sagamok’s traditional territory, like Victoria Mine, Totten Mine, Kidd AER, Vermillion-Errington and many more, this partnership is sure to benefit both groups for years to come. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, SAMSSA, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada Mining Supply and Services Sector | 0 Comments

20th January 2015

Industries urged to build trust with First Nations – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 20, 2015)

http://www.timminspress.com/

TIMMINS – One of the most respected legal minds in Canada told an audience in Timmins Monday that it is about time for mainstream Canadians to start showing more trust and respect to the Aboriginal community.

The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, former chief justice of the Federal Court of Canada and a former member of the Supreme Court of Canada, was speaking at a special lunch sponsored by the Misiway Milopemahtesewin Community Health Centre on Monday.

“I think it is the No. 1 societal issue facing our country, and that is the plight of our indigenous people,” he told the audience. Aside from being a renowned author, speaker and jurist, Iacobucci is also the man representing the Government of Ontario for negotiating with the Matawa First Nation tribal council for the Ring Of Fire project.

He spoke on the Ring Of Fire project only in passing, but he said it will have to be an example of the non-Aboriginal segment of our society treating First Nations and individual Aboriginals with more trust and respect.

At one point in his speech, he told the Timmins audience that resource companies need to include consultation and accommodating with First Nations. 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 | 0 Comments

16th January 2015

Sudbury letter: Liberals fail to deliver – by Ryan Minor (Sudbury Star – January 16, 2015)

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

It is election time in Sudbury. The governing Liberals will be out making new promises and restating old promises. There is a saying that ‘words whisper, actions scream.’ We need to look past the rhetoric and ask: where are the results?

On the Highway 69 file, the minister of Transportation wants us to believe that the government is still committed to finishing the highway by 2017.

There are several troubling facts that cast doubt on this claim. The last contracts for construction of the highway were tendered in 2012. As of now, the MTO has not concluded a single deal with any of the three First Nations to acquire reserve lands. The remaining 82 km have been in federal environmental assessment since at least 2011. The MTO has no federal permits.

The 2014 budget included funding for 11 km of Highway 69 near Nobel and indicated that construction would start this fiscal year (by March 31). According to an email dated Jan. 8, 2015, from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, information to complete the environmental assessment has been outstanding for years, which is surprising since the engineering is done, the project is entirely on Crown land, the project involves adding two more lanes to the existing highway and First Nations legally cannot withhold consultation.

Sudburians need to ask: what is the true construction timetable for the highway? What sort of issues are holding up agreements with the First Nations? Read the rest of this entry »

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

16th January 2015

COMMENT: Is BC becoming mining friendly? – by Marilyn Scales (Canadian Mining Journal – January 15, 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.

Two recent news releases point toward removing roadblocks from the Prosperity and Tulsequah Chief projects. With two rulings by the BC Minister of Environment, the province appears to move closer to being a mining friendly place to find a deposit.

First, the Tulsequah Chief base and precious metals project belonging to Chieftain Metals of Toronto was deemed to be “substantially started.” That designation means that the environmental assessment certificate remains in effect for the life of the project.

Second, the government granted a five-year extension to the environmental certificate for developing the Prosperity gold-copper project that belongs to Vancouver-based Taseko Mines.

Both projects have had their share of detractors, primarily First Nations who feel they mines will be environmentally unsound.

The Tulsequah Chief project ran up against a lawsuit filed in December 2013 seeking to void the environmental permit originally granted in 2002 and renewable every five years. When Chieftain purchased the Tulsequah property in 2010, the sale included a valid environmental certificate. With the latest determination that the project is substantially started, there is no basis for revoking the environmental permit.

The Prosperity project was complicated first by environmental concerns and then by aboriginal title to the property. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, British Columbia Mining, Canadian Media Resource Articles | 0 Comments

13th January 2015

Patent office decision may help KWG to cut chromite production costs in half – by Jamie Smith (tbnewswatch.com – January 13, 2015)

http://www.tbnewswatch.com/default.aspx

THUNDER BAY — Mining is an expensive industry. Just ask KWG Resources, which received good news from the U.S. Patent Office’s International Searching Authority earlier this month. The office found that KWG’s process for using natural gas and an accelerant, rather than a standard electric arc furnace, to process chromite is a novel one.

Vice-president of exploration and development Moe Lavigne said the idea could cut costs by more than half for its proposed operation. It could also have the potential to license the process to mines around the world but it hasn’t had the chance to get the process out of the lab yet.

“We haven’t tested it on chromites from around the world yet but we suspect that it’ll be applicable to any chromite deposit on the planet,” he said. Typically an electric furnace needs to burn at around 1,700 C in order to separate chromite, made of chromium, iron and oxygen. KWG’s process could do the same using natural gas at 1,200 C. That saves energy costs but also equipment costs by burning at a lower temperature.

“At 1,700 C just about everything melts,” Lavigne said. The footprint for the plant is also about a quarter of the size of an electric furnace like the one proposed by once KWG senior partner Cliffs Natural Resources. Electricity prices means a typical plant would likely be built in Quebec or Manitoba where prices are cheaper but natural gas is the same price across the country. Read the rest of this entry »

posted in Aboriginal and Inuit Mining, Chromium/Platinum Group Metals, Northern Ontario/Canada Regional Media, Ontario's Ring of Fire Mineral Discovery | 0 Comments

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