Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Saskatchewan Indigenous companies to explore SMR investments – by David Giles (Global News – May 12, 2021)

Three Saskatchewan Indigenous-owned companies have signed an agreement to pursue small modular reactor (SMR) investments.

Kitsaki Management, Athabasca Basin Development and Des Nedhe Group say they are in a position to support this emerging technology from construction to operation and maintenance.

Sean Willy, CEO of Des Nedhe Group, said their companies have supported uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan since the 1980s and they want to make sure their voices are heard in this “new and exciting technology.” Continue Reading →

Indigenous people’s lives depend on their lands, but threats are growing worldwide – by Barbara Fraser (National Catholic Reporter – May 12, 2021)

The threats facing Indigenous people opposing industrial operations on their lands — discrimination, harassment and assassination — all disproportionately affect women. And the coronavirus pandemic has done little to reduce the danger, say Indigenous and faith leaders.

“Indigenous women human rights defenders are at the forefront of the resistance against the effects of extractive industries and, more generally, the model relying on the exploitation of natural resources, including through mining, logging, [agricultural] monocultures and dams,” Sandra Epal-Ratjen, international advocacy director for Franciscans International, said at a virtual event April 26.

The webinar sponsored by Franciscans International, which brought together United Nations officials with Indigenous leaders from Brazil, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Guatemala, coincided with the 20th session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, held April 19-30. Continue Reading →

First Nation’s Lawsuit to Block Gold Exploration at Ontario Site Threatens Prospector’s 35-Year Investment in Project – by Jason Unrau (The Epoch Times – May 12, 2021)

Group claims violation of UNDRIP rights; province and junior miner cite over a decade of support for consultation and attempts at engagement thwarted

A First Nation in northern Ontario, citing infringement of sacred territory, has sued the province and a prospector for $80 million in damages and an injunction to stop further exploration work and commercialization of hard rock gold claims said to contain tens of millions of ounces.

In response, the Ontario government cites support it’s provided since 2008 to boost the indigenous community’s capacity for consultation including in terms of mineral development.

The prospector, now in his mid-70s, similarly points to years of engagement efforts that met with “non-engagement and delay,” as well as “intensive logging and exploration activities” that have already occurred on the land under dispute. Continue Reading →

Neskantaga First Nation calls for halt to environmental study process on Ring of Fire road – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – May 10, 2021)

Moonias, a frequent critic of the Ring of Fire planning process, said
local leadership already have enough on their plate with an ongoing
health emergency, a community water crisis, and the “marginalization of our
voices” in the EA process.

Neskantaga First Nation is calling for a halt to all the environmental assessment (EA) processes in the Ring of Fire.

Chief Wayne Moonias is demanding a “pause” in the process until the pandemic is over when meaningful consultation can take place on the proposed north-south corridor to access the Far North mineral belt.

In a letter to provincial Environment, Conservation and Park Minister Jeff Yurek, Moonias expressed his displeasure that the early stages of the provincial EA process is about to begin the Northern Road Link, the middle section of the Ring of Fire road, between Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle embraces reduced operations for its new western Nunavut mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 112, 2021)


Agnico Eagle Mining Ltd. plans to stick to a schedule of reduced operations into 2022 for its recently acquired Hope Bay gold mine, says general manager Eric Steinmetzer.

The new owner’s plans for Hope Bay include completing an overview of the entire operation on the property’s three gold deposits, Doris, Madrid and Boston. Analysts are now on site, looking at the full economic potential of the entire ore body, Steinmetzer said.

That analysis will take at least a year to complete, he said, and suggest whether or not Agnico Eagle needs to design a new mill or simply undertake an upgrade of the existing mill. Continue Reading →

Neskantaga First Nation demands a halt to assessment of Ring of Fire road – by Doug Diaczuk ( – May 11, 2021)

NESKANTAGA FIRST NATION, Ont. – Leaders with Neskantaga First Nation are calling for a halt to an environmental assessment for a proposed road to the Ring of Fire in Northern Ontario, saying the community is already facing numerous emergencies and the communities voices are only being marginalized further.

Chief Wayne Moonias wrote a letter to various government officials and First Nations leaders saying the community’s decision-making is being undermined by the province during a pandemic.

“With the release of the announcement that the Northern Road Link environmental assessment process will be commencing, it is obvious that Ontario has ‘weaponized’ the environmental assessment process to further repress our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. We are under duress,” Moonias writes. Continue Reading →

Deadly shootout in Brazil’s Amazon as illegal miners enter indigenous lands – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 11, 2021)

At least three illegal gold miners have died inside the Yanomami reservation in northern Brazil, after opening fire with automatic weapons on an indigenous community opposed to their presence in the area.

The Yanomami group, the largest of South America’s tribes that remain relatively isolated from the outside world, said armed miners attacked one of their communities on Monday, leaving one member severely injured.

The indigenous group responded with bows, arrows and shotguns, wounding four of the attackers during the 30-minute clash, the government’s indigenous affairs (Funai) agency said in a statement. Continue Reading →

Tahltan Nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C. – by Brenna Owen (Globe and Mail – May 10, 2021)

Demand for jade has sparked both a reality TV series set in the remote northwestern corner of British Columbia and opposition from an Indigenous nation over its lack of consent to jade mining in its territory.

The Tahltan Nation has strong ties to the mining and mineral exploration sector, but the extraction of nephrite jade is “a very problematic industry for us,” said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government.

B.C.’s consultation with the nation over jade mining permit applications has been “minimal,” Mr. Day said in an interview, and in recent years the nation has expressed opposition to new permits and the industry overall. Continue Reading →

The Lithium Gold Rush: Inside the Race to Power Electric Vehicles – by Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton (New York Times – May 6, 2021)

A race is on to produce lithium in the United States, but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green.

Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.

The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.

But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is expected to use billions of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste. Continue Reading →

Mary River mine could be mothballed, Baffinland president warns – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – May 4, 2021)


Baffinland Iron Mines Corp.’s president and CEO Brian Penney says there’s a possibility the company might mothball its Mary River iron mine next year.

Penney explained in an April 30 letter that shareholders are saying they won’t invest any more money because there have been delays securing the approval to expand the operation in northern Baffin Island.

“The letter was sent to all employees and contracting staff,” said Heather Smiles, Baffinland’s manager of stakeholder relations. “This letter is intended from an internal perspective to communicate to our employees on what to expect.” Continue Reading →

Planning for Northern Link Road environmental assessment begins in the Ring of Fire area – by Logan Turner (CBC News Thunder Bay – May 4, 2021)

The environmental assessment (EA) process for the third and final proposed road project in northern Ontario that will connect remote Matawa First Nations to the provincial highway network and create a road to the proposed Ring of Fire mineral development is underway, as of May 4.

Marten Falls and Webequie have begun to consult First Nations and other stakeholders and draft the terms of reference — essentially the work plan for the EA — for the Northern Link Road, a proposed two-lane, all-weather 120-kilometre road that will connect with two other proposed roads in Treaty 9 Territory: the Webequie Supply Road and the Marten Falls Community Access Road.

“We are leading the planning and assessment of this project to ensure that environmental risks to our traditional ways of life are thoroughly assessed and mitigated,” Chief Bruce Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation said in a press release. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: Environmental Assessment Planning Begins on Proposed Northern Road Link (Webequie First Nation and Marten Falls First Nation – May 3, 2021) Proponent First Nations Issue Notice of Commencement of the Terms of Reference

THUNDER BAY, ON, May 3, 2021 /CNW/ – Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations are pleased to announce that the Environmental Assessment process is ready to begin on the Northern Road Link. The official Notice of Commencement for the Terms of Reference (ToR) will be released on Tuesday May 4, 2021.

The Northern Road Link project is a proposal to build a 120km road that will run north south in a remote part of Northern Ontario, north-west of Thunder Bay. The project would connect two other proposed road development projects; the Webequie Supply Road (WSR) and the Marten Falls Community Access Road (MFCAR); providing the First Nations with access to the Ring of Fire mining development area as well as the provincial highway system.

Says Chief Achneepineskum of Marten Falls First Nation; “This Notice of Commencement is a significant milestone for our First Nations and one that has taken over 10 years to materialize. We share a common vision with Webequie to change how development occurs in our traditional territory. Today, we are leading the planning and assessment of this project to ensure that environmental risks to our traditional ways of life are thoroughly assessed and mitigated, and that opportunities for First Nations people are maximized.” Continue Reading →

Proposed mining threatens Grassy Narrows First Nation’s long struggle for environmental justice – by Megan Youdelis, Faisal Moola, Justine Townsend and Jonaki Bhattacharyya (Toronto Star – April 24, 2021)

Indigenous peoples have been stewarding their lands and waters for millennia, and there is increasing legal recognition that Indigenous and treaty rights must be a fundamental consideration in how such lands are governed.

Yet, under Ontario’s online prospecting system, anyone can register a mining claim on Indigenous territories for a paltry $50 per parcel — without ever visiting the territory, let alone having obtained the consent of the Indigenous people who live there.

Ontario insists that under provincial mining regulations, it can award mining claims and permit mining exploration and extraction against the will of Indigenous communities. Continue Reading →

Toxic legacy of uranium mines on Navajo Nation confronts Interior nominee Deb Haaland – by Mary F. Calvert and Andrew Romano (Yahoo Finance – February 23, 2021)

If, as widely expected, New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland survives her U.S. Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday and is sworn in as secretary of the interior, she will make history as the first Native American ever to serve in a presidential Cabinet.

But representation is only half the battle. From day one, Haaland will also be expected to address a festering backlog of problems left behind by predecessors who lacked her perspective as a citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, one of America’s 574 federally recognized tribes.

Among the most daunting: how to finally help shield indigenous people from the hundreds of inactive yet still toxic uranium mines that have been scarring their lands and poisoning them for decades. Continue Reading →

Recommended staking moratorium in Yukon land use planning areas misses the mark, critics say – by Julien Gignac (CBC News Yukon – April 21, 2021)

Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation’s chief disagrees with a recommendation included in the Yukon Mineral Development Strategy that suggests staking moratoriums in land use planning areas should be capped at 20 per cent.

Roberta Joseph said the recommendation doesn’t go far enough, adding that too much staking in a given area runs the risk of prioritizing mining before land use plans are completed. “This recommendation is not really a balanced approach,” she said.

“There’s no fairness in a plan that’s already being dictated by all of the permits and licences that are being issued,” she said, referring to the regional land use plan that’s underway in the Dawson area. Continue Reading →