Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

[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 →

Attawapiskat chief accuses De Beers of issuing ultimatum – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – September 20, 2016)

ATTAWAPISKAT – De Beers Canada should know by the end of this week whether or not it has the support it wants from the members of the Attawapiskat First Nation to move ahead with exploration work on its Tango Extension project.

Since early August, the First Nation’s economic development corporation, Attawapiskat Enterprises, has been conducting a door-to-door survey asking people if they would support the first phase of the project that could prolong diamond mining inside their territory.

The deal being proposed to Attawapiskat members not only includes more direct involvement in the resulting mine from the Tango Extension, De Beers is also offering jobs for band member in the remediation work at the existing Victor Mine after it ceases operations in 2018. Continue Reading →

Potential $1 billion work to clean up Arizona’s dangerous Navajo uranium mines – by Mike Sunnucks (Phoenix Business Journal – September 19, 2016)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is starting what could be a $1 billion, years-along process to clean up abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation land in northern Arizona. There are more than 500 abandoned uranium minds on the sprawling Indian reservation that cuts across northeastern Arizona as well as parts of Utah and New Mexico.

From 1944 to 1986, mining companies extracted more than 30 million tons of uranium from mines on Navajo land. The mining was fueled by the U.S. Cold War with the former Soviet Union and the super powers’s nuclear arms race.

Uranium is key to nuclear weapons and northern Arizona, in particular the Navajo Nation, had deep deposits. Private companies often hired Navajos to work at the mines. Continue Reading →

Immediate Review of B.C. Mining Safety Demanded by Alaska Native Leaders – by Richard Walker (Indian Country Today – September 15, 2016)

An organization of Alaska Native leaders wants the U.S./Canada International Joint Commission, formed by a 1909 treaty, to ensure British Columbia mines use best practices to prevent contamination of rivers that cross from Canada into Southeast Alaska.

They also want Alaska Native governments to be consulted because their territories, economies and environmental health are at stake. The United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group, a union of 15 federally recognized Alaska Native governments in the state’s southeast, takes issue with a September 8 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry from Alaska’s congressional delegation.

The congressional delegation asked that the federal government “partner with Alaska to press Canada on policy answers” regarding mining, “encourage British Columbia officials to consider the cumulative impacts of mining and their potential impacts on transboundary waters,” and determine whether the International Joint Commission “is a suitable venue to determine whether Canadian mines are following ‘best practices’ in treatment of wastewaters and acid-producing mine tailings.” Continue Reading →

Poisoned Waters: Navajo Communities Still Struggle After Mining Disaster – by Suzette Brewer (Indian Country Today – September 14, 2016)

SHIPROCK, New Mexico—On Friday, as the Obama administration temporarily halted construction of the Dakota Access pipeline due to concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, another water-related human tragedy continued to unfold within the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico.

A year after the Gold King Mine spill that turned the San Juan River bright orange with millions of gallons of toxic chemicals, Navajo families continue to struggle against the ongoing, catastrophic effects on their water supply that threaten both their health and the economic stability of an already fragile community. On a daily basis, tribal members along the San Juan River say, they are still confronting the environmental, agricultural, health and spiritual fallout from the disaster that has pushed some to the brink of despair and left many others teetering on poverty.

In August 2015, more than three million gallons of toxic acid sludge and heavy metals, including lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, arsenic and dozens of other dangerous contaminants, was released into the Animus River at its headwaters in Silverton, Colorado, the largest tributary to the San Juan River. Continue Reading →

‘Not the wild west anymore’: Yukon opposition weighs in on Klondike mining disputes – by Paul Tukker (CBC News North – September 14, 2016)

NDP, Liberals says government must help find resolution

Yukon opposition politicians are blaming the territorial government for dropping the ball when it comes to resolving disputes over mining claims.

The NDP and Liberals were reacting to a controversy in Dawson City, where two placer miners are attempting to evict members of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation from their homes. The miners say the homes are on part of eight placer mining claims they own.

The First Nation is also involved in another dispute over mining claims on Dawson’s Dome Road. “These conflicts are a direct consequence of inaction by the Yukon Party government over the last 14 years,” said NDP leader Liz Hanson. She says the government has failed to update mining legislation to reflect current land claim agreements. Continue Reading →

It takes two to Tango: DeBeers seeks Attawapiskat consent for new diamond mine (CBC News Sudbury – September 13, 2016)

Tango deposit could extend operations past 2018 when Victor Mine is expected to shut down

DeBeers Canada says it won’t even look at expanding its diamond mining operations near Attawapiskat without the blessing of the community. After nearly a decade in production, the company is running out of diamonds at its Victor Mine in the James Bay lowlands.

DeBeers Canada sees some potential in a nearby deposit called Tango, with some estimates saying it could extend the life of the Attawapiskat operation by 67 years. But before it does further exploration, chief executive Kim Truter wants the consent of the people of Attawapiskat, even though it’s only legally required to consult them.

“We are really trying to partner in a different way with the community, so they genuinely feel involved in the planning and the thinking and the decision making,” says Truter. It’s pointless us actually operating in these first nations areas if we don’t have local support.” Continue Reading →