Attawapiskat First Nation accuses former Ontario diamond miner De Beers Group of disposing demolition waste from its decommissioned Victor Mine in a “vulnerable” wetland environment of cultural significance.
The leadership of the James Bay coastal community calls the company’s provincial application to build a landfill “suspect” at the remote location 500 kilometres north of Timmins.
The First Nation said De Beers has applied for 97,000 cubic metres of landfill volume, just below a 100,000-cubic-metre threshold, which would trigger a comprehensive environmental assessment under Ontario law.
“This level gets the landfill under the legal radar, but does not mean it would be any less threatening,” the First Nation said in an April 6 news release.
The community insists the company wants to put the landfill in a place that has been of “critical cultural, spiritual and subsistence importance to the Kattawapiskak Cree People for thousands of years.”