Mining firm [HudBay Mining] seeks to end roadblocks – by Bruce Owen and Geoff Kirbyson (Winnipeg Free Press – March 19, 2013)

Heading to court to obtain injunction

One of the biggest employers in northern Manitoba wants a judge to do what the RCMP won’t — stop a Manitoba First Nation from putting up Idle No More roadblocks at its mining sites.

Lawyers for Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting will be in court Wednesday to get an injunction to stop the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation and Chief Arlen Dumas from engaging in any acts that interfere with the mining company and its employees, court documents filed last week in Court of Queen’s Bench say.

HBM&S also wants an order for RCMP to arrest anyone who contravenes that injunction. “I am concerned that if further blockages occur, the RCMP will require a court order to take steps to enforce compliance with HBM&S’s right to access to and from its projects and mining operations in Manitoba,” HBM&S vice-president Brad Lantz said in an affidavit.

Members of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation have blocked access to the HBM&S Lalor project near Snow Lake twice this year and have threatened to blockade access to the company’s Reed Lake copper mine, 120 kilometres east of Flin Flon.

Lantz said at the two Lalor project blockades RCMP attended, but took no action to restrain protesters from interfering with access to company property.

RCMP and other police services have been criticized for refusing to enforce court injunctions in other provinces to end rail blockades by the Idle No More movement.

Lantz said safety and business concerns are behind the company’s court action. HBM&S has spent about $26 million developing its Reed Lake project and expects to spend a further $44 million this year.

At its Lalor site, where a gold, zinc and copper mine is being developed, HBM&S says it needs unrestricted access to maintain its three-kilometre underground ramp.

“A power failure could interrupt the downcast fans, which supply the underground portions of the operation with fresh air,” the documents say.

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