Northwest mine developer settles dispute with First Nation neighbour – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – June 21, 2024)

Cat Lake First Nation accepts government proposal on access road to First Mining Gold’s Springpole Project

First Mining Gold said a resolution has been reached with Cat Lake First Nation involving a disputed temporary access road to the gold company’s exploration camp in northwestern Ontario that halted construction last winter.

In a June 20 news release, the Vancouver company said Cat Lake accepted a settlement offer on June 17 on a proposal from the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), thus ending a judicial review process.

The ministry was the provincial agency that issued construction permits to First Mining early last February for an 18-kilometre-long temporary winter access into the Springpole Project exploration site to bring in supplies and people over a five-year period.

Cat Lake immediately challenged those permits in court, the community arguing it had not been properly consulted by the MNRF. A judge’s interim order stayed the ministry’s authority to issue those permits. The substance of this proposal was not included in the release.

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