Prospectors weigh impact of cancelled Eabametoong drilling permit – by Staff ( – July 18, 2018)

Government statement says the decision’s implications are under review

THUNDER BAY — An official with the Ontario Prospectors Association hopes the quashing of a mining company’s permit to explore for gold near Eabametoong First Nation causes the newly-elected PC government to “revamp the system.”

The Divisional Court revoked Landore Resources’ permit on the grounds the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines and the company had inadequately consulted the Indigenous people who fish, hunt and trap in the area.

OPA Executive-Director Garry Clark said the previous Liberal government “did take some ownership on the consultation process…but I guess they didn’t go far enough. I guess somewhere within the ministry’s legal advice, there’s a problem. They need to get themselves up to speed with what the lawmakers want.”

In an interview with Tbnewswatch, Clark said the court case “would be a good starting point for the new government…to revamp the consultation process and maybe even the permitting process.” He called the current process “really complicated.”

Clark explained that “Right now, First Nations in the area get a notification that we’ve acquired the ground. The discussion should be more upfront, at the beginning, before we even start work, because if you acquire the ground, you know you’re going to do work. The next processes that we apply for are a plan or a permit, and then there’s another point of discussion with the community. Somewhere in there we have to have more notification earlier, so that we don’t get too deep into the process.”

Clark said OPA members are already discussing the court ruling, and the organization plans to raise it with Greg Rickford, the minister responsible for Energy, Northern Development & Mines, and Indigenous Affairs.

The OPA already had meetings scheduled with Rickford and his staff prior to the court ruling, and Clark said “obviously this will be one of the discussion points.”

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