Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Geraldton mine project offers ‘generational’ opportunities for First Nations – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – September 25, 2020)

Indigenous development group views Hardrock Project as stepping stone to create homegrown workforce, mine service hub

Hopes have been raised – and dashed – over the years in training Indigenous people to take part in mine development in the often-delayed Ring of Fire.

The lack of government, community, and industry coordination has consistently moved back the project completion goal posts, leaving many First Nations trainees with no jobs in the pipeline to graduate into.

Three northwestern Ontario First Nation communities appear to have hitched their collective wagons to more of a sure thing surrounding a shovel-ready, open-pit gold mine project south of Geraldton. Continue Reading →

OPINION: Canada tramples on First Nations treaty rights as it works to pay off its COVID-19 bill – by Tanya Talaga (Globe and Mail – September 25, 2020)

This past weekend, I went moose hunting with First Nations youth in Treaty No. 9 territory. Every fall, if we are lucky enough, we head out on the land, where we learn our language and our traditions, and it reminds us who we are.

As we walked during the hunt, it was devastating to come across vast sections of land that were completely barren – clear-cut by forestry companies.

With us was Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler who, until he lost cell service, took call after call on the COVID-19 crisis. The virus had made its way into four of NAN’s 49 First Nations communities – the most it has infiltrated since the pandemic began. Continue Reading →

New program aims to boost Indigenous workforce in mining, construction industries (CBC News Thunder Bay – September 24, 2020)

A new program aims to boost the number of Indigenous workers in northern Ontario’s mining and construction sectors.

Minodahmun Development LP announced the launch of its new Readiness and Essential Skills for Employment Training (RESET) program on Wednesday.

The program will let members of Aroland, Animbiigoo Zaagi’igan Anishinaabek and Ginoogaming First Nations to prepare for mining and construction developments in the Municipality of Greenstone and the Ring of Fire. Continue Reading →

Nunavut government may support TMAC-SD Gold sale, but with conditions – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – September 23, 2020)

Nunavut wants to see commitment to respect previous agreements with Inuit

The Nunavut government has made a submission to federal reviewers now looking at the proposed sale of TMAC Resources Inc. to the Chinese-owned Shandong Gold Mining Co. Ltd.

But, speaking on Tuesday in the Nunavut legislature, Economic Development Minister David Akeeagok would not say whether the Government of Nunavut supported the proposed sale in its submission to the federal reviewers.

In response to questions from Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, he said he did not want to comment more because the federal government is still in the middle of its review process. Continue Reading →

‘From Poverty to Prosperity’: How One First Nations Government is Redefining Mining – by Dave Jackson ( – March 10, 2020)

Mining operations have existed in British Columbia’s far northwest corner for generations. The mineral-rich area also known as B.C.’s ‘Golden Triangle’ is so named as it is home to some of the richest gold ore bodies in the world, as well as abundant silver, nickel, copper and jade deposits.

At present, 20-plus junior explorers are active in the region, and they stand to benefit from three crucial infrastructure improvements:

-the paving of the Stewart-Cassiar Highway (the Northern half of the highway is a narrow road paved with sealcoat, not asphalt)
-the opening of ocean port facilities for concentrate export at Stewart
-and the completion of a $700-million high-voltage transmission line bringing power into the region. Continue Reading →

Rio Tinto promised to respect indigenous people. It has a chance to in the U.S. – by Lauren Redniss (Washington Post – September 22, 2020)

Earlier this month, the Anglo-Australian mining conglomerate Rio Tinto announced its chief executive, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, and two other top executives would step down as the company reckons with its decision last May to bulldoze ancient rock shelters in Australia’s Juukan Gorge to gain access to iron ore.

For the Indigenous Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, the rock shelters were sacred sites. Archaeologists have found evidence of 46,000 years of human presence at the gorge.

In June, Rio Tinto issued an apology. But pressure from Indigenous groups and Rio Tinto’s shareholders pushed the company to take a stronger stand. Continue Reading →

Special report: Pebble Mine, the people’s story spanning more than two decades – by Sandy Szwarc (Must Read Alaska – September 19, 2020)


Pebble Mine is just weeks away from clearing the last hurdle to a federal permit − after nearly two decades of scientific, engineering and environmental studies, and wading through the permitting process.

It reached this point despite well-organized and massively-funded opposition from Outside special interests that have done everything in their power to block the permit. Across the country, many believe that those behind the opposition are grassroots environmentalists, unbiased experts, local fishermen, and Native American Indians.

But virtually none of them are who they appear to be. Attempting to mislead the public with huge media campaigns repeating the same scary sounding claims and misinformation, and efforts to stop the mine permit with an army of lawyers, their goals have nothing to do with the mine itself or saving the environment. Continue Reading →

Russian Indigenous communities are begging Tesla not to get its nickel from this major polluter – by Maddie Stone ( – September 21, 2020)

Every year in August and September, the people of Ust’-Avam, a remote indigenous community located in the Taimyr region of the Russian Arctic, toss nets into the Avam River to catch tugunok fish, an important traditional food.

This year, the community stopped fishing early, around the start of the month. There were no tugunok to be found. Nor could locals find the fish at other common sites along the river basin fed by Lake Pyasino, which lies just a few miles north of the industrial city of Norilsk.

Gennady Shchukin, a member of the Dolgan ethnic group, has little doubt about the culprit: In late May, a reserve fuel tank at a power plant near Norilsk burst open, flooding local waterways with an estimated 23,000 tons of diesel oil. Continue Reading →

Millions in mine and forest revenues coming back to northern Ontario and the province promising more to come – by Erik White (CBC News Sudbury – September 18, 2020)

Deal for cities and towns in the works, while First Nations received $24M in resource revenue last year

At the groundbreaking for a new gold mine near Gogama, Premier Doug Ford didn’t say very much about his promise to give northern Ontario a bigger cut of the money the province makes from its natural resources.

He pledged to share mine and forest revenues with northern communities in the 2018 election and says his “all-star” minister of Northern Development and Mines Greg Rickford is working on it.

“He has a strong plan moving forward to have resources shared among Indigenous communities,” Ford says. Continue Reading →

Ontario Regional Chief addresses Timmins Chamber – by Andrew Autio (Timmins Daily Press – September 17, 2020)

Archibald spoke of benefits to businesses building stronger relationships with First Nations

The next step for the reconciliation of First Nations people is business ownership, including mines, according to Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald of the Taykwa Tagamou Nation near Cochrane.

At Wednesday’s 71st-annual general meeting of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, Archibald was the keynote speaker, and was introduced via Zoom by Mark Selby, chairman and CEO of Canada Nickel Company, one of the region’s newest mining companies.

With the complications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s AGM was streamed online, with participation coming from all across Ontario. Continue Reading →

Chinese gold miner’s Arctic ambitions face chill in Canada – by SHUJI NAKAYAMA and SHUNSUKE TABETA (Nikkei Asian Review – September 17, 2020)

NEW YORK/BEIJING — As global competition for the Arctic’s rich resources grows, the proposed acquisition of a Canadian mining company by China’s Shandong Gold Group has emerged as a flashpoint in the countries’ deteriorating ties.

“We plan to become one of the world’s top five producers of gold by 2025,” Shandong Gold Chairman Chen Yumin said in August as he signed a strategic partnership with Bank of China. The deal provided the mining giant with a 30 billion yuan ($4.44 billion) credit line to help finance overseas acquisitions.

The state-owned miner supervised by Shandong Province has ties with the Chinese Communist Party dating to the Japanese occupation. It operates a large gold mine in Shandong and became China’s top producer of the metal in 2017. Continue Reading →

Igloolik leaders say Inuit face barriers in Nunavut mine environmental review – by Beth Brown (CBC News North – September 15, 2020)

A day and a half into meetings on a proposed expansion at Mary River Mine in Nunavut, community participants say they face barriers that limit the full participation of Inuit.

“Every intervener in this process has lawyers and advisers. We were the only ones that are lacking,” said Igloolik mayor Merlyn Recinos, adding that federal funding given to communities to help them hire specialists isn’t enough.

In response to Recinos, a representative from Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) said that applications from communities were not “robust” enough to justify the amount of participant funding they requested from the Treasury Board of Canada. Continue Reading →

BHP says traditional owners free to weigh in on cultural heritage inquiry – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – September 16, 2020)

Mining giant BHP (ASX, LON, NYSE: BHP) has told Australian Aboriginal groups to freely speak their mind about the way it manages cultural heritage as the miner readies to appear before a federal inquiry launched following rival Rio Tinto’s (ASX, LON, NYSE: RIO) destruction of two 46,000-year-old sacred shelters.

Both companies have been criticized for having gag clauses in land agreements preventing traditional owners from publicly objecting to developments.

“BHP has confirmed to traditional owners that it does not regard any term of its agreements with them as preventing them from making public statements about cultural heritage concerns,” it said in the statement. Continue Reading →

Why I support Shandong Mining’s big new investment in Nunavut – by Leona Aglukkaq (Financial Post – September 15, 2020)

The federal government must soon decide whether to approve Shandong Gold’s acquisition of TMAC Resources. The test is whether the purchase is of net benefit to Canada, including economic benefits with no unacceptable risk to national security.

One might think approving a Chinese acquisition of TMAC, which owns the Hope Bay gold mine in Nunavut, might be risky. But as a Nunavut Inuk, as a TMAC director and shareholder, and as a long-time representative of my community in government, I can tell you the benefits are too great to pass up.

The Nunavut government and Jeannie Ehaloak, MLA for Cambridge Bay, the Nunavut constituency that encompasses the mine, agree. Nunavut needs the investment that Shandong will bring. This investment will help move my region toward economic sustainability. Continue Reading →

Marine life, mineral disputes remain as Nunavut mine hearings resume (CBC News North – September 14, 2020)

Ten months after an abrupt adjournment, discussions on the expansion of a mine on Baffin Island is set to resume.

The Nunavut Impact Review Board is reconvening its meetings to assess an expansion at the Mary River Mine in the northern Qikiqtaaluk region in Nunavut.

The mine is about 176 kilometres southwest of Pond Inlet. It’s one of the most northern mines in the world, according to the Baffinland website. Continue Reading →