Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

The ‘fraud of the century’ finally reaches the end of the line after clogging up our court system for 7 years – by Peter Foster (Financial Post – July 11, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

The most baseless of cases — especially if they involve the words ‘Indigenous’ and ‘environment’ — can tie up business for years

After clogging up the Canadian court system for seven years, an utterly corrupt multibillion-dollar lawsuit against California-based oil company Chevron on behalf of “poor Ecuadorean villagers” was finally dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice last Friday.

The suit, dubbed “the fraud of the century” by The Wall Street Journal, related to pollution caused by Texaco — a company that Chevron acquired in 2001 — when Texaco had been operating in Ecuador before 1992.

In fact, Texaco had paid for — and the Ecuadorean government had agreed to — remediation payments, but then a buccaneering American lawyer named Steve Donziger got into the act. A classmate of Barack Obama, Donziger engineered a US$9.5-billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador. He had no trouble recruiting then-Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa to the cause. Continue Reading →

Mining will drive double-digit economic growth in Nunavut this year: report – by John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – July 11, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Nunavut’s mining boom will help the territory see enviable economic growth for the foreseeable future, according to a new forecast by the Conference Board of Canada.

But the report’s authors don’t expect this growth to make a big dent in the territory’s unemployment rate, which currently stands at nearly 2.5 times the national average.

“Most of the new jobs created in Nunavut’s mining industry will, unfortunately, go to non-residents as companies are forced to bring in workers from other parts of Canada due to a lack of specific mining skills within the resident population and to the remoteness of the mine sites,” the report states. Continue Reading →

Five-year anniversary looms with no charges in catastrophic Mount Polley dam collapse – by Gordon Hoekstra (Vancouver Sun – July 7, 2019)

https://vancouversun.com/

Environmentalists and Mount Polley mine-area residents are anxiously waiting as one deadline approaches for federal agencies to lay charges over the 2014 collapse of the B.C. Interior mine’s tailings dam.

After a 4-1/2-year investigation, a team comprised of officials with Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, along with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, delivered a charge package to federal prosecutors this spring.

It is now up to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada to determine if charges will be laid. Under federal law, there is a five-year window that ends Aug. 4 to lay charges in a summary conviction under the Fisheries Act, where a large corporation faces fines up to $8 million. Continue Reading →

India’s top court sides with indigenous people over illegal mining fallout – by Rina Chandran (Thomson Reuters Foundation – July 4, 2019)

https://uk.reuters.com/

BANGKOK, July 4 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indigenous people in an Indian state must be protected from illegal mining and the pollution it causes, the country’s top court ruled, providing a “historic” victory to tribal groups fighting for better rights over land and natural resources.

Indigenous people, who own much of the land in northeastern Meghalaya state, have full rights over the land and any resources on it, and only they can grant permission for mining after the correct permits are obtained, the Supreme Court ruled.

The state government had “entirely failed to stop illegal mining, which is the cause of degradation and pollution”, and must end illegal mining and rehabilitate the environment, it said on Wednesday. Continue Reading →

Diamond Producers Association battles diamond mining misconceptions – by D’Arcy Jenish (Northern Miner – July 4, 2019)

Northern Miner

Jean-Marc Lieberherr readily concedes that the industry he represents and speaks for – global diamond mining – has an image problem. “There are so many misconceptions about diamond mining,” says Lieberherr, chief executive officer of the Belgium-based Diamond Producers Association.

“Issues from the 1990s, like conflict diamonds that funded several African civil wars, are real scars in the history of the industry.” Much has changed within the industry over the past 20 years.

In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution establishing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which aimed at preventing conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. And by July 2013, some 54 participants from 81 countries had endorsed the Kimberley Process. Continue Reading →

Taseko Mines seeking court injunction after First Nation members block work at Fish Lake – by Andrea Woo (Globe and Mail – July 4, 2019)

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/

A B.C. mining company is seeking a court injunction after its crew was blocked from beginning work this week on a controversial open-pit mine near Fish Lake, also known as Teztan Biny.

Brian Battison, vice-president of corporate affairs for Taseko Mines Ltd., said the company has no other choice but to pursue the authoritative option after members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation blockaded access to the site on Tuesday. “What else can you do but rely on the law?” Mr. Battison said Wednesday.

The roadblock was set up roughly 80 kilometres from the site of the proposed New Prosperity copper and gold mine project, southwest of Williams Lake. When Taseko crews arrived on Tuesday, members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation told them they did not have access to the site. Continue Reading →

Trudeau’s Trans Mountain nightmare could end with indigenous-led $6.9-billion offer for majority stake – by Nia Williams and Rod Nickel (Financial Post/Reuters – July 3, 2019)

https://business.financialpost.com/

A deal ahead of October election could ease criticism over broken promises on the environment and indigenous rights

CALGARY — An indigenous-led group plans to offer to buy a majority stake in the Trans Mountain oil pipeline from the Canadian government this week or next, a deal that could help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mitigate election-year criticism from environmentalists.

The group, called Project Reconciliation, aims to submit the $6.9 billion offer as early as Friday, managing director Stephen Mason told Reuters, and start negotiations with Ottawa two weeks later.

Project Reconciliation said the investment will alleviate First Nations poverty, a watershed for indigenous people who have historically watched Canada’s resources enrich others. Continue Reading →

First Nation expects reprieve will be brief after blocking mining company from its territorial lands to protect sacred B.C. lake – by Jesse Winter and Wanyee Li (Toronto Star – July 3, 2019)

https://www.thestar.com/

TL’ESQOX FIRST NATION—It was just after 6:30 a.m. and Cecil Grinder hadn’t slept. Standing next to a smouldering fire, he watched the trucks approaching from the east.

“I tried to get a few hours sleep, but I just couldn’t,” the Tl’etinqox First Nation councillor said, explaining that he was too nervous. Seventeen-year-old Syles Laceese joined him on the tarmac.

At the junction with Farwell Canyon Road, about 40 minutes outside of Williams Lake, B.C., a white pickup and a tractor-trailer towing a bulldozer slowed to a stop at Grinder’s command amid the rolling hills and cattle ranches of Tsilhqot’in traditional territory. Continue Reading →

British Columbia: Tsilhqot’in Nation plans peaceful action to protect two sacred lakes from mining – by Brenna Owen (CBC News/Canadian Press – July 2, 2019)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/

The Taseko Mines project west of Williams Lake was approved by the province in 2010

A First Nation in British Columbia’s western Interior says its members intend to peacefully take action to protect two lakes with cultural and spiritual significance from drilling by a mining company.

According to a release from the Tsilhqot’in Nation in Williams Lake, Taseko Mines Ltd. sent a notice on June 27 indicating it would begin using heavy equipment such as logging and road-clearing equipment starting Tuesday.

The company says the drilling and related activities are an attempt to prove the lakes will not be harmed by its so-called New Prosperity Project, a proposed open-pit copper and gold mine west of Williams Lake. Continue Reading →

A partisan divide: Uranium mining’s toxic legacy or essential national security – by Miranda Faulkner (Cronkite News/News Maven – June 26, 2019)

https://newsmaven.io/

WASHINGTON – Tribal members, environmentalists and lawmakers told a House panel Tuesday that including uranium on a list of “critical minerals” opens the door to expedited mining that will put tribal lands and national parks at risk.

They were responding to a Trump administration announcement earlier this month that directed the government to locate uranium and expedite permits for its mining as one of dozens of minerals considered essential for the country’s economic and national security.

But witnesses told a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Tuesday that the administration plan does not take into consideration the public and environmental health risks that come with mining, especially uranium, which has a “toxic legacy” of polluting communities where it has been mined. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Road to resources a northern priority (Yellowknifer – June 20, 2019)

https://nnsl.com/yellowknifer/

Diamond mines are the bloodstream for the NWT and Yellowknife, a source of economic vitality in the wake of the gold rush that birthed this city in the first place.

For most of the community’s history, the main reason people have come here has been to make a living off the rocks. The Earth’s many valuable ores have supported abundant mining jobs for generations.

And one miner’s job generates many others in this thriving town: schoolteachers, shopkeepers, doctors and nurses. But the mines, and the city and the jobs, are in trouble. Continue Reading →

Controversial bills C-69 and C-48 to become law, one day after Senate enforces Arctic offshore oil ban – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – June 21, 2019)

https://nationalpost.com/

OTTAWA — The Senate passed into law two controversial natural resource bills Thursday evening, just one day after it quietly passed a third bill that reinforced a ban on offshore oil drilling in the Canadian Arctic, quashing any future oil and gas development in the region.

Bill C-48, which would legally enforce a moratorium on oil tankers in northern B.C., is now set to receive royal assent after it was accepted at third reading in the Senate late Thursday.

Bill C-69, which would overhaul the environmental review process for major projects, also passed a third reading. Their passage enshrines the bills in Canadian law, ending more than a year of fierce opposition from the natural resources sector and some provinces. “This phase of the battle is over,” Independent Sen. Doug Black, who was opposed to C-69, said in a final speech before the final vote on the bill. Continue Reading →

[Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.] Mining company marks Nunavut opening with $1-million donation (Nunatsiaq News – June 20, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. celebrated the launch of its new Nunavut gold mine with a community feast and the gift of $1 million to two non-profit organizations.

The company’s Meliadine gold mine, located about 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet, started commercial production last month.

To mark the occasion, Agnico Eagle hosted an event at Rankin Inlet’s community hall on Wednesday, June 19, enticing residents with hot air balloon rides and a chance to hold a bar of gold. Continue Reading →

Baffinland’s expanded shipping proposal raises concerns at Iqaluit meeting – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – June 19, 2019)

https://nunatsiaq.com/

To help protect the area’s fish, birds, marine mammals and people, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. should meet a “gold standard” when shipping from its north Baffin iron mine, delegates said during the second day of the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s three-day technical meeting on the company’s $900-million proposal to expand its Mary River mine.

After sessions looking at the use of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit and cumulative effects assessments on Monday, attention on Tuesday turned largely to ice-breaking and shipping.

Baffinland plans to ship out 12 million tonnes of ore annually, increasing that amount later to 30 million tonnes. Several of the Inuit representatives around the table in Iqaluit’s Cadet Hall told how Baffinland’s shipping is already having an impact. Continue Reading →

Keynote Speech by former NAN Grand Chief Harvey Yesno (December 4, 2014)

Harvey Yesno was just elected the new Chief of Eabametoong First Nation on June 17, 2019. Eabametoong is the largest isolated community in the Ring of Fire with an on-reserve population of roughly 1,500 people.

This speech was written for the 8th Annual Aboriginal Energy Forum – December 4, 2014. While a bit dated, many of the issues are still relevant today and it gives a terrific overview of the many challenges First Nations face in the isolated region of Northwestern Ontario. – Stan Sudol

Good afternoon.

First of all, thank you for inviting me to speak at this 8th Annual Aboriginal Energy Forum. I want to acknowledge the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the New Credit First Nation, Chiefs, Elders and participants. I also want to thank the conference organizers for inviting me to speak to you.

Today we come together in a forum where we can share and learn from each other. It is an opportunity for everyone here to broaden their understanding of energy issues affecting all of us, make connections and share valuable information.

It is my belief, that in order for any one of our First Nations to succeed in achieving the maximum benefits from energy development, we will need to share our knowledge and our experience with each other. Continue Reading →