Long Point First Nation is calling for more comprehensive environmental reviews after an Australian mining company said it wants to expand operations in the area. The Anishinabek community situated in Winneway is concerned about the impacts of lithium mining, a key component in the global efforts to move towards sustainable energy.
As environmental initiatives push consumers towards electric vehicles, debates rage over how “green” is the production of key elements like lithium, as mining can devastate landscapes.
Those tensions hit close to home for Long Point First Nation Chief Steeve Mathias, whose community sits on Lake Simard, an area where Sayona Mining Limited wants to establish a fourth mine. The company already has three mines in the region, near Winneway, La Corne and La Motte, and hopes to develop the Tansim mine near Lake Simard.
The community learned of the intended mine a few years ago, when Sayona Mining came to the community’s general assembly and informed them of the work. The company came back last year with drilling samples it said is “very interesting,” according to Mathias.