Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

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.” Continue Reading →

Ontario court quashes gold mining permit over lack of meaningful consultation with First Nation – by Jorge Barrera (CBC News Indigenous – July 17, 2018)

Court says company’s potential Barrick deal drove ministry’s decision to issue exploration permit

A ruling issued Monday by the Ontario Superior Court quashing a gold exploration permit should send a message to the new Doug Ford government that it can’t “bulldoze” its way into the mineral-rich Ring of Fire development, says the chief of Eabametoong First Nation.

The Ontario Superior Court said in the ruling that the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, under the previous Liberal administration, failed to properly consult with Eabametoong First Nation before it granted a gold mining permit to Landore Resources Canada, a subsidiary of U.K.-based Landore Resources Ltd.

The court found that the ministry “changed course without any explanation” to the First Nation and issued the permit to ensure Landore had it in hand for talks on a potential deal with gold mining behemoth Barrick Gold Corporation. Continue Reading →

Court cancels mining permit after Ontario failed to adequately consult First Nation community – by Gloria Galloway (Globe and Mail – July 18, 2018)

A permit for mineral exploration on the traditional territory of a remote First Nation has been cancelled by judges who say the Ontario government and the mining company failed to adequately consult with Indigenous people who hunt and fish in the area.

The decision issued this week by a three-judge panel of the Divisional Court of Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice reinforces the obligation of governments to reach out to First Nations, Inuit and Métis when development could affect their way of life.

The court said Landore Resources Canada will have to complete consultations with the Eabametoong First Nation before a permit can be issued for the company’s claim near Keezhik Lake in Northwestern Ontario. Continue Reading →

A sustainable plan for Ontario’s Ring of Fire – by Cheryl Chetkiewicz, Justina Ray, Richard Lindgren (Policy Options – July 17, 2018)

Cheryl Chetkiewicz, PhD, is a conservation scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. Justina Ray, PhD, is president and senior scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. Richard Lindgren is a staff lawyer with the Canadian Environmental Law Association and represents citizens’ groups on environmental issues.

Newly elected Premier Doug Ford has declared that resource development within northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire mining area will be a priority for his government. However, from an environmental planning and First Nations perspective, this may be more easily said than done.

Mineral deposits in the Ring of Fire lie beneath globally significant carbon-rich peat lands in the Far North of Ontario. The enormous economic potential of the chromite and nickel deposits has sustained industry and government buzz since these deposits were discovered over a decade ago.

While there has been intensive exploration and some limited impact-assessment work, little progress in developing these deposits has occurred to date. Continue Reading →

Navajo Nation urges expansion of radiation exposure law (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS – July 10, 2018)

SHIPROCK, N.M. — From the end of World War II to the mid-1980s, about 30 million ton of uranium ore were extracted from lands belonging to the nation’s largest American Indian reservation. Today, across the Navajo Nation, sit dozens of abandoned uranium mines and the high risk to residents of contamination exposure.

Now, the Navajo Nation is urging the U.S. Congress to expand a federal law that compensates people who were exposed to radiation resulting from nuclear bomb tests stemming from the Cold War.

Currently, the law only covers people who lived downwind from nuclear test sites in Nevada, Arizona and Utah, as well as workers in the uranium mining industry in a dozen states. But the tribe says it’s time for Navajo Nation workers after 1971 to be included. Continue Reading →

Algoma University joins alliance, jumps into mining research – by James Hopkin (Soo Today – July 10, 2018)

Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance conceived to address challenges in mining sector

The Pan-Northern Mining Research Alliance (PNMRA) will be meeting in Sault Ste. Marie this fall to identify and communicate its funding needs to both federal and provincial governments.

The alliance – which counts Algoma University and Sault College as members – is a collaborative effort between ten post-secondary institutions in northern Ontario.

“The alliance is going to seek industry engagement, supports and collaboration through targeted research opportunities,” said Dr. Pedro Antunes, who is the executive research lead and Canada Research Chair at Algoma University. “The idea is to positively influence government priorities and industry needs that will benefit all of northern Ontario.” Continue Reading →

Cree see benefits from Quebec’s first diamond mine, built on their territory – by Kevin Dougherty (CBC News Canada – July 8, 2018)

Cree leaders negotiated to have guaranteed jobs, contracts and a share of the royalties from the Renard mine

Quebec’s first diamond mine — the $774-million, Stornoway Diamond Corp.’s Renard mine — sits on Cree territory, about 800 kilometres from Montreal in northern Quebec.

In operation since January 2017, the mine would not have happened without a unique agreement reached between the company and the Cree, who are guaranteed jobs, contracts and a share of the royalties, once the mine is profitable.

For more than a year now, the mine has been producing diamonds, some of which are sold at Montreal’s Birks jewellery store. They bear a fleur-de-lis inscribed by a laser, and come with a certificate that says they’re officially, “Diamants du Québec.” Continue Reading →

Reporting of Payments to Aboriginal Governments Now Required Under the Canadian Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act – by John W. Boscariol, Bianca Déprés and Claire Seaborn (McCarthy Tétrault LLP – July 4, 2018)

After a two-year deferral period, eligible companies are now required to report payments to Aboriginal or Indigenous governments under the Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (“ESTMA”).[1] Companies must publish its report of these payments online and provide a link to the report to Natural Resources Canada by no later than 150 days following the end of the company’s financial year.

ESTMA came into force on June 1, 2015 to enhance accountability and transparency in the extractive sector by requiring companies in the mining, oil and gas industries to publicly report, on an annual basis, payments made all levels of government in Canada and abroad. The legislation was enacted with a two-year deferral period, which ended on June 1, 2017, for the reporting of payments to Aboriginal governments.

As a result, eligible companies, referred to as “Reporting Entities”, that made “Reportable Payments” to Aboriginal governments on or after June 1, 2017 and have a financial year ending on December 31, 2017, were required to report those payments by May 30, 2018. Continue Reading →

Forging new bonds with First Nations: Indigenous-led AurCrest Gold sees a shared future with remote communities in northwestern Ontario – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – July 5, 2018)

A pioneering First Nation-led gold exploration and sustainable energy company has moved beyond having a social licence to operate by forging deeper bonds with remote communities.

When Chris Angeconeb took the helm as AurCrest Gold’s president and CEO in March 2017, he was determined to build upon the good faith relationships the company had fostered with First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario, and then take it a step farther.

When Angeconeb joined the Toronto junior miner as a director in 2011, his knowledge of mining was limited. A handful of his uncles and cousins had worked in the industry and he’d received an earlier indoctrination while taking a course at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie taught by MiningWatch co-founder Joan Kuyek. Continue Reading →

$23M program aims to create skills, on-the-job training for Indigenous peoples (CBC News Newfoundland-Labrador – June 26, 2018)

Voisey’s Bay mine expansion creates hundreds of new job opportunities

Newfoundland and Labrador is teaming up with the federal government on a new $23.6 million-program designed to get more Indigenous people working at the Vale mine in Voisey’s Bay.

On Tuesday, officials from the Nunatsiavut government, Innu Nation, NunatuKavut, Vale, and the federal and provincial governments came together with the College of the North Atlantic (CNA) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to announce the project.

It’s being led by the Labrador Aboriginal Training Partnership (LATP), and will help train workers for the mine, by giving them hands-on training experiences and skills development. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Royal Canadian Mint issues first coin minted of pure Nunavut gold

A celebration of the North from the coin’s design to its gold content

OTTAWA, June 26, 2018 /CNW/ – The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to issue its first collectible coin crafted entirely of Nunavut-sourced gold. Designed by Inuk artist Andrew Qappik, the reverse image highlights the walrus, ptarmigan, polar bear, bowhead whale and narwhal, all framed within the outline of a maple leaf. The beautifully crafted coin is available for purchase as of today.

In another innovation, the 1/10 oz. gold coin is struck on newly developed blanks that are thinner and wider than usual, yet with the same relief, allowing for a larger canvas for the Arctic-themed design. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

“In anticipation of Nunavut’s 20th anniversary, the Mint is very pleased to celebrate the beauty and talent that Nunavut and its people add to the Canadian fabric,” said the Mint’s Vice President of Sales Chris Carkner. “From the responsibly-mined gold, to the artist and his design, Canadians can be proud of this 100% Canadian coin.” Continue Reading →

Indigenous-affairs ministry a likely target as Tories streamline cabinet – by David Reevely (Ottawa Citizen – June 25, 2018)

Officials in Ontario’s Ministry of Indigenous Relations are preparing to see their department folded into another ministry when premier-designate Doug Ford and his new cabinet are sworn in Friday.

The 10-year-old ministry was created after the inquiry into the police killing of an Aboriginal protester at Ipperwash Provincial Park found that Indigenous people were getting scant attention from the government and what they did get came from ministers who often had conflicts of interest.

Depending whom you listen to, the standalone ministry could be collapsed into either the Ministry of Natural Resources or the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, as Ford streamlines the 30 ministerial jobs in Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government to as few as 18. Continue Reading →

EDITORIAL: Thumbs up for mining protocol (Winnipeg Sun – June 20, 2018)

A new protocol unveiled by the Pallister government designed to guide future mining projects, including their impact on First Nations, is a good example of what reconciliation should look like.

Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen announced the Manitoba-First Nations Mineral Development protocol on Friday. It grants First Nations the authority to decide whether they want mining projects on their land and provides them with a more equitable share of revenues generated from those projects.

Ron Evans, a former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, was the co-chair of the protocol report. He says he’s encouraged to see government’s commitment to getting input from Indigenous communities on mining projects. Continue Reading →


Working Together to Build a Brighter Future In the North: Pedersen

To view a copy of the co-chairs’ report, visit

The Manitoba government has released the Co-chairs’ Report on the Manitoba–First Nations Mineral Development Protocol, which includes key findings and recommendations on ways to create certainty in order to advance mineral development projects in a timely way, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen and Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke announced today, along with co-chairs Ron Evans, former chief of Norway House Cree Nation, and Jim Downey, former Manitoba deputy premier and cabinet minister.

“We are pleased to receive the report and recommendations,” said Pedersen. “A new protocol will create certainty for all parties including First Nations, industry and government, and help ensure First Nations can be actively involved in all phases of mineral development to create and share in the benefits of growth in this sector. Thank you to the co-chairs for their dedication in developing this framework.” Continue Reading →

New mining protocol unearths optimism – by Martin Cash (Winnipeg Free Press – June 16, 2018)

More involvement of First Nations among identified priorities

The province has released its long-anticipated First Nations Mineral Development Protocol, which is hoped to end some of the uncertainties that have dogged the industry in Manitoba.

The report, co-written by former Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs grand chief Ron Evans and former deputy premier of Manitoba Jim Downey, includes seven priority areas to be addressed.

They include common-sense issues such as better communication with First Nations about potential mineral exploration projects and more expeditious response from government regarding regulatory action it needs to take during mineral development projects. Priority areas also include a call for revenue-sharing and for First Nations to become engaged in more substantial economic partnerships with the mining companies. Continue Reading →