Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Giant Mine contamination apology discussions underway, says Yellowknives Dene First Nation – by Hannah Paulson (CBC News North – March 4, 2021)

‘The destruction of the ecosystem that we have always enjoyed is a very painful history,’ chief says

A First Nation in the Northwest Territories is expecting to receive an apology from the federal government for the contamination of its land.

That’s according to Ed Sangris, chief of Dettah, N.W.T., who says the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN) are expecting the process for an apology from the federal government, for the harms caused by contamination from the former Giant Mine, to begin in June.

A spokesperson for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada confirmed that the federal government has never apologized for the harm suffered by Indigenous people following the development and contamination of land caused by mining in the North. Continue Reading →

Groups ask for pause to Ring of Fire work until plans in place for clean water, peatlands – by Carl Meyer (National Observer – March 2, 2021)

A coalition of Indigenous and environmental organizations is calling on the Canadian and Ontario governments to impose an “immediate moratorium” on all mineral exploration or impact assessment work related to the Ring of Fire region.

A dozen organizations, including the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and the Omushkegowuk Women’s Water Council (OWWC), have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and provincial leaders asking for the pause.

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines believes the Ring of Fire region in the province’s north has valuable deposits of several minerals, including chromite, which can be used to make stainless steel. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has labelled it a “multibillion-dollar opportunity.” Continue Reading →

Nunavut mine’s study on caribou roundly rejected – by Thomas Rohner (CBC News North – March 2, 2021)

Agnico Eagle commissions study that finds mining road has virtually no impact on migrating caribou

A scientific analysis commissioned by Agnico Eagle that found the mining road near Meliadine Mine in the Kivalliq region is having virtually no impact on migrating caribou is being roundly criticized by Nunavut agencies.

“It became pretty clear that they’re not analyzing data correctly,” Clayton Tartak, research coordinator with the Kivalliq Wildlife Board, told CBC News.

Community organizations and members near the mine participated in a roundtable discussion held by the Nunavut Impact Review Board last month. Continue Reading →

To go electric, America needs more mines. Can it build them? – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – March 1, 2021)

(Reuters) – Last September, in the arid hills of northern Nevada, a cluster of flowers found nowhere else on earth died mysteriously overnight.

Conservationists were quick to suspect ioneer Ltd, an Australian firm that wants to mine the lithium that lies beneath the flowers for use in electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

One conservation group alleged in a lawsuit that the flowers, known as Tiehm’s buckwheat, were “dug up and destroyed.” The rare plant posed a problem for ioneer because U.S. officials may soon add it to the Endangered Species List, which could scuttle the mining project. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Memorandum of Understanding signed by Webequie First Nation and Juno Corp.(March 1, 2021)

First Nation advances economic participation interests in Ring of Fire project developments.

WEBEQUIE FIRST NATION, ON, March 1, 2021 /CNW/ – Webequie First Nation and Juno Corp. have announced a new cooperation agreement to foster economic participation opportunities and advance exploration and potential mining partnerships in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire.

This first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on February 24th in Webequie First Nation between Chief Cornelius Wabasse and Juno Corp.’s President & COO, Jacob McKinnon.

Chief Wabasse of Webequie First Nation said, “This MoU is an economic milestone for our First Nation members. We are a community that believes in self-determination and pursuing collaborative alliances with the right government and business partners. This MoU brings us one step closer to securing new employment, training, business prospects and ongoing consultations as mining develops in our traditional territory.” Continue Reading →

Environmental opposition to the Ring of Fire is growing – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – February 25, 2021)

Toronto environmental law group joins voices calling for protection of Far North wetlands

A Toronto-based legal group is throwing its support behind the opposition to development in the Ring of Fire mineral belt.

The Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), whose clients are the Friends of the Attawapiskat River, is calling for an immediate moratorium on all mineral exploration and all mine-related development, including a halt to the environmental assessments underway for the proposed community, supply, and ore-haul access roads.

They’re throwing their support behind Mushkegowuk Council and Neskantaga First Nation that a protection plan must be put in place first – safeguarding wetland and watersheds in the Far North and respecting Indigenous rights – before any further action takes place. Continue Reading →

‘Stay off our lands unless given consent’: FSIN, mining firm at odds over exploration on Sask. First Nation (CTV News Saskatoon – February 24, 2021)

SASKATOON — The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is asserting that resource exploration permits from the Government of Saskatchewan have no authority on First Nations’ lands.

This comes after a Toronto-based uranium resource exploration company was found twice on the Birch Narrows Dene Nation without the consent of their band council.

“Resource developers must understand that provincial permits don’t give them the green light to run roughshod over our inherent and treaty rights,” said Birch Narrows Dene Nation Chief Jonathan Sylvestre. Continue Reading →

Pond Inlet MLA says territory is ‘muted’ on controversial Nunavut mine expansion – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – February 23, 2021)

The MLA for Pond Inlet is criticizing the Nunavut government for taking a back seat in negotiations for the Mary River mine expansion.

In the legislature Monday, David Qamaniq urged the territory to be more vocal about the expansion that, if approved, would see production double from six to 12 million tonnes a year at the iron ore mine on north Baffin Island.

“My constituents are wondering why the territorial government seems to be able and willing to impose restrictions on caribou hunting in this region to protect the health of the species, but does not seem able or willing to impose restrictions on the mining company to protect our land, water and wildlife,” Qamaniq said during question period. Continue Reading →

Key Inuit organization signals it will oppose Baffinland iron ore mine expansion – by Niall McGee (February 22, 2021)

The regional Inuit organization that represents the Inuit on Baffin Island is signalling it will likely oppose the proposed expansion of the Mary River iron ore mine because of the damage it believes would be wreaked on the environment and on the livelihoods of the Indigenous population.

Privately held Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. has proposed doubling its production at Mary River to 12 million tonnes a year.

The Oakville, Ont.-based miner also wants to build a railroad that would transport ore from its complex in North Baffin to Milne Port, about 100 kilometres away. Baffinland says the expansion is crucial to turn a marginal operation into a profit-making one. Continue Reading →

A year after Wet’suwet’en crisis, First Nations’ questions about self-governance have only grown louder in a pandemic – by Wendy Stueck and Brent Jang (Globe and Mail – February 23, 2021)

Three small cabins stand next to Lamprey Creek in northern British Columbia, built by Wet’suwet’en Nation members and their supporters over the past year.

The structures occupy the site of a former Indigenous village site where Wet’suwet’en people lived and fished for centuries before the area became a recreation site for campers and anglers, according to Molly Wickham, a member of the nation whose hereditary name is Sleydo’.

But the site is also close to spots where, one year ago, RCMP officers arrested protesters challenging the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Continue Reading →

Consultations with First Nations lacking on mines proposed in northwestern Ontario – by Sam Laskaris (Yahoo News/Windspeaker – February 18, 2021)

Jason Rasevych is encouraged by some news announced this past week in the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) Mining Readiness Strategy.

The report says a total of 15 mines could go into development in northwestern Ontario during the next decade. These mines would undoubtedly give an economic boost to northern communities and could provide as many as 7,000 new jobs.

But Rasevych, the president of the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA), has raised several concerns with some items in the report. Continue Reading →

Nunavut mine says it’s not allowed to harm Inuit harvesting – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – February 17, 2021)

In the wake of last week’s blockade, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation says it has heard the call to slow down plans to expand production at the Mary River mine.

“It’s unfortunate that they felt they had to go to those extremes to be heard,” said Udloriak Hanson, Baffinland’s vice-president of community and sustainable development, about the protesters who blockaded the mine’s airstrip and trucking road for a week.

Baffinland wants to double the mine’s output from six to 12 million tonnes of iron ore by building a railway and increasing shipping through a narwhal habitat. The protesters say that would damage the environment, and affect their harvesting rights. Continue Reading →

EPA awards $220 million for uranium mine cleanup on Navajo Nation – by Haleigh Kochanski ( – February 16, 2021)

Cronkite News – WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it will award contracts worth up to $220 million to three companies for the cleanup of some of the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines on the Navajo Nation.

Work could start later this year following the completion of assessments for mining sites coordinated between the EPA and the Navajo Nation’s environmental agency, the federal agency said.

This week’s announcement is just the latest in years of efforts to clean up the mines, the toxic legacy of Cold War mining in the region. More than 30 million tons of uranium ore were mined in the region, according to the EPA, which said more than 500 mines were ultimately abandoned. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine blockade highlights Nunavut Agreement’s fatal flaw – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – February 12, 2021)


The land claim agreement empowers Inuit organizations — and disempowers Inuit communities

All of us who care about Nunavut will be relieved that the protesters who occupied the Mary River mine’s airstrip and tote road for most of this past week have decided to end their blockade. Because in doing so, they’ve avoided a potentially ugly confrontation.

The protesters, who call themselves the Nuluujaat Land Guardians, blockaded Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s mine on north Baffin over this past week to oppose its proposed expansion, and to protest the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s role in the process.

The expansion, which is still before a public hearing, would double the mine’s output and see a 110-kilometre railway combined with up to 176 ship-transits through the environmentally sensitive waters of Eclipse Sound. Continue Reading →

Traditional owners go mining, bypass iron ore giants – by Peter Ker (Australian Financial Review – February 12, 2021)

The newest player in the lucrative Pilbara iron ore industry also happens to be the region’s oldest.

Fed up with mining companies that don’t adequately care for their country and cultural heritage, the traditional owners of Australia’s busiest iron ore mining district are taking matters, and drill rigs, into their own hands.

In a stark illustration of the changing relationship between Australia’s biggest export industry and the nation’s original inhabitants, the Eastern Guruma people have established their own mining company and applied for nine exploration permits within their native title area. Continue Reading →