Order halts [mineral exploration] drilling [on traditional FN territory] – by Kate McLaren (The Daily Press – April 30, 2011)

The Daily Press is the newspaper of record for the city of Timmins.

First Nation gets court injunction

The community of Constance Lake First Nation (CLFN) has obtained an injunction to stop a mineral exploration company from drilling on traditional territory. The order was imposed Friday in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto.

“This is a victory for us,” CLFN Chief Arthur Moore told The Daily Press Friday afternoon. “We’re very happy to have this time in the interim to go back to the negotiating table.”

The injunction was filed against Zenyetta Centures Ltd., a company in association to Cliffs Resources. Cliff Resources is involved in the Ring of Fire mineral discovery. The company has been prohibited from drilling until May 9 and have been ordered back to negotiations with the First Nations community.

CLFN officials and residents are attempting to protect a piece of land Moore explained is very important to the people.

“It’s at the core of our spiritual and cultural well-being, and we believe these drilling excersizes will cause irreparable harm.

“We have a right to hunt and trap in these territories, and this is a very realistic concern for us.”

Moore is calling for changes to the Mining Act, which would impose legislation requiring mining companies to negotiate with First Nations communities.

“We want to protect the interests of the land, as well as become participants in the developing world, and right now, we’re not allowed to do that.”

He added despite the legal victory, a demonstration planned for Monday, west of Hearst, will go ahead.

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