Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Nunavik Inuit respond to proposed rare earths mine – by Jane George(Nunatsiaq News – May 21, 2019)

Company wants to build 185-kilometre road south from Kuujjuaq

Organizations representing Inuit in Nunavik and in the comunity of Kuujjuaq have signed a letter of intent with a junior mining company that wants to build a 185-kilometre haul road south from Kuujjuaq to an open pit rare earths mine.

Maggie Emudluk, Makivik Corp.’s vice-president for economic development, and Sammy Koneak, the president of the Nayumivik Landholding Corp., signed the letter of intent on May 15 with Vancouver-based Commerce Resources Corp. A Makivik Corp, spokesperson said the letter of intent creates a committee that will provide answers to concerns and questions from people in Kuujjuaq.

“The Ashram deposit project is still in a pre-development phase and has to go through several stages prior to getting formal Inuit acceptance to be implemented,” the Makivik spokesperson said. Continue Reading →

The Northern Miner Podcast – episode 139: Indigenous People as ‘Resource Rulers’ in Canada ft Bill Gallagher – part 2 (May 21, 2019)

Northern Miner

This episode wraps up our two-part conversation with strategist, lawyer and author Bill Gallagher on the topic of Canada’s Indigenous People and their land rights, and how that affects resource development in the country.

Based in Waterloo, Ont., Bill is the author of two popular books on the topic: the recently published “Resource Reckoning: a Strategist’s Guide from A to Z” and the 2012 milestone “Resource Rulers: Fortune and Folly on Canada’s Road to Resources.”

To buy the books and for more information, visit and find him on Twitter at @ResourceRulers. Continue Reading →

Senators defeat Ottawa’s oil tanker ban bill in rare move, putting legislation on life support – by Jesse Snyder (National Post – May 16, 2019)

OTTAWA — In a rare legislative move on Wednesday, the Senate transport committee voted to defeat the Liberal government’s moratorium on oil tankers in northern B.C., putting the controversial bill on life support after years of political wrangling.

A vote against the bill by Independent Sen. Paula Simons, along with the five other Conservative senators on the committee, swayed a final decision in favour of recommending that the senate nix Bill C-48, which effectively bars any oil tankers from entering northern B.C. waters.

The move does not immediately kill the oil tanker moratorium, but a vote by the senate to adopt the committee recommendations would stop the legislation in its tracks. A vote on the report is expected in coming days. Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle’s mine training program has its critics – by Avery Zingel (CBC News North – May 16, 2019)

A worker at Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank Mine in Nunavut says a training program designed to train Nunavummiut allows southern contractors to rise, while Inuit wait for training. Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. operates the Meadowbank open-pit gold mine, north of Baker Lake and the Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet.

CBC has agreed not to name the worker, who said he fears reprisal from the company. The man has been an employee with the company for over a decade, and said he has never been suspended.

The employee, who is not Inuit, said he is “fed up” with the treatment of his Inuit colleagues. The man said Inuit on his crew are overlooked for higher-paying positions and become frustrated when they are turned down for the training they need to advance. Continue Reading →

Liberal tanker ban looks to be foundering in the choppy waters of the Senate – by John Ivison (National Post – May 15, 2019)

Garneau slipped up by acknowledging the real reason the Liberals are driving the bill through parliament, in the teeth of fierce opposition

Marc Garneau probably wished he were back on the space shuttle. The transport minister — the government’s point person on C-48, the oil tanker moratorium act that is currently being dismembered by uncooperative senators — was called upon to defend the bill before the Senate transport and communications committee Tuesday.

The committee is made up of Conservatives and Liberal-appointed independent senators, who are proving more non-aligned than the government might wish.

Paula Simons, a former journalist who is now an independent senator representing Alberta, suggested to Garneau that Bill C-69 (the government’s environmental assessment reform that is also bogged down in the Senate) is a robust piece of legislation that would subject any plans for a new port on the west coast to the same rigorous scrutiny as any new pipeline. “Isn’t C-48 superfluous and redundant?” she asked. Continue Reading →

Batchewana First Nation will ‘decide’ fate of ferrochrome facility bid: Chief – by Elaine Della-Mattia (Sault Star – May 10, 2019)

Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers says he’s ready and willing to have meaningful consultation with all parties about whether his government can support Noront Resources’s proposed ferrochrome facility in Sault Ste. Marie.

He says he’s willing to set the table and invite others who want to enter into “meaningful” dialogue and follow the “inherent right and jurisdiction” Batchewana will exercise during the quest to find common ground.

“We’re going to do that in the very near future, with Noront and with the city (of Sault Ste. Marie), he said. And only when common ground is found and Batchewana First Nation is satisfied that the environment and its people will be protected, will the First Nation support a ferrochrome plant, he said. Continue Reading →

Kugluktuk finding new ways to produce fresh food, mining company [TMAC Resources Inc.] lends a hand – by Jackie McKay (CBC News North – May 7, 2019)

Kugluktuk, Nunavut, is finding new ways to provide the community with fresh produce. In April the hamlet harvested its first batch of leafy greens from the community greenhouse.

The greenhouse is a converted shipping container with a hydroponic system. “It helps in many different ways, first is providing a reliable source of leafy greens which can be some of the most temperamental vegetables to fly up to the Arctic,” said Matt Stadnyk, manager of community economic development for the hamlet of Kugluktuk.

It’s mostly leafy greens such as mixed lettuce, spinach and kale grown at the moment. The container can produce about 325 plants a week. The idea is for the community to have an alternative to costly air freight for fresh produce. But the hamlet doesn’t want to create competition with the grocery stores. Continue Reading →

B.C. is getting what it wanted, and it sure doesn’t like it – by Kelly McParland (National Post – May 3, 2019)

How rich is it that the province of British Columbia, which has done so much to prevent Alberta from shipping more oil, has gone to court to force that province to keep sending as much of the stuff as possible?

If B.C. Premier John Horgan has any grasp of irony at all — not to mention a sense of the truly ridiculous — he must look in the mirror and see Jim Carrey. It would take the sort of mind behind the creation of Ace Ventura to fully appreciate the absurdity of the position B.C. has manufactured for itself thanks to its determined posturing and preaching on the matter of oil pipelines and climate change.

Horgan’s government went to court Wednesday to shake its fist at Alberta, insisting that new Premier Jason Kenney has violated the constitution by proclaiming a new law enabling him to shut off the taps that send oil to B.C. Continue Reading →

Respect rights of indigenous people, culture, pope tells mining industry – by Junno Arocho Esteves (Catholic – May 3, 2019)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A “fallacious” economic model that exploits the earth’s resources while disregarding the rights and cultures of indigenous people has left the planet in a precarious condition and requires a change of heart that places the common good before financial gain, Pope Francis said.

Addressing participants of a two-day conference at the Vatican May 3, the pope said that like all economic activities, mining “should be at the service of the entire human community,” especially indigenous people who are often pressured “to abandon their homelands to make room for mining projects which are undertaken without regard for the degradation of nature and culture.”

“They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed,” he said. “I urge everyone to respect the fundamental human rights and voice of the persons in these beautiful yet fragile communities.” Continue Reading →

Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine mine set to start commercial production – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – May 1, 2019)

Inuit orgs could rake in nearly half a billion from Agnico Eagle’s Kivalliq operations

Following the pouring of its first bar of gold last February, the Meliadine gold mine near Rankin Inlet will start commercial production this month, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. said last week in its financial statements for the first quarter of 2019.

The processing plant at Meliadine has already produced 17,582 “pre-commercial” ounces of gold. And by the end of this year, AEM hopes to produce about 230,000 ounces, the company said.

The long-awaited Meliadine mine, which cost more than $900 million in capital expenditures, is expected to require about 900 employees, at least 350 of whom will be Inuit. “Three underground mining areas are now in operation, with operations in a fourth area expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019,” the company said. Continue Reading →

Northerners aren’t ready to cash in on $1B Giant Mine cleanup, oversight board says – by Alex Brockman (CBC News North – April 24, 2019)

The $1-billion cleanup of Giant Mine will be one of the largest economic projects in the Northwest Territories, but northerners aren’t ready to take advantage of it, according to the latest report from the board overseeing the project.

The ongoing project could be a boon to northern contractors and workers, with $36.3 million spent in 2017-18 and $40.3 million in 2016-17 for care and maintenance work, such as tearing down buildings, repairing electrical equipment and keeping the site safe.

But only 20 per cent of the workers on those projects were from the North and only four per cent Indigenous, continuing downward trends from previous years, the Giant Mine Oversight Board reported in its 2018 annual report, released Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Agnico bets on high grade gold as it digs in Canada’s remote north – by Nichola Saminather (Reuters U.S. – April 23, 2019)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Agnico Eagle Mines is doubling down this year on Nunavut, Canada’s least developed territory, betting that the high-grade gold ores and slim competition there will offset the risks of digging in the remote location in the far north.

For miners desperate to shore up reserves, the choice is often between safer jurisdictions with inhospitable geographies and easier-to-reach ores in politically challenging locations. Investors have been rewarded for backing Agnico’s strategy.

The company’s shares have surged 71 percent over the past five years, trouncing the 0.3 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/TSX Global Gold Index. They believe the company is making the right move again, thanks to high-grade ores in Nunavut and Agnico’s 12 years’ experience in the Arctic territory. Continue Reading →

How Bill C-69 will end up punishing Indigenous Canadians most of all – by Brian Schmidt (Financial Post – April 25, 2019)

Opinion: The misconception that Indigenous communities are victims of the resource industry is paternalistic and out-dated

Across our country, workers, communities and businesses have been telling senators that Bill C-69, the proposed legislation on impact assessment, threatens to destroy the resource industry. Investment is fleeing, projects are being cancelled and jobs are being lost.

Often lost in the noise are the negative impacts C-69 will have on Indigenous peoples. I see those impacts firsthand as an energy CEO who works closely with First Nations. While the bill was drafted in part, as a response to Canada’s commitment to nation-to-nation partnership and reconciliation, it is First Nations who are being hurt first and foremost by C-69. Let me tell you how.

First, you need to understand that Indian Oil and Gas Canada, which regulates oil production on First Nations lands, has a policy of charging a higher royalty for oil produced on reserve lands than the royalties charged on Crown land in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay: Project to build permanent road to northern Ontario First Nation ‘the right move’ chief says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 18, 2019)

The chief of a northern Ontario First Nation says an ongoing project to build an all-season road to the community will help in many ways.

Marten Falls, which is about 300 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay, is in the midst of the provincial environmental assessment process to construct a thoroughfare that will link the remote First Nation to the provincial highway system north of Nakina.

“There’s a lot of socio-economic benefits that would derive from having an all-weather road to the community,” said Chief Bruce Achneepineskum, adding that those would include lowering the cost of freight, making it easier for community members to travel and better positioning the First Nation to take advantage of various economic development opportunities in the forestry, mining and tourism sectors. Continue Reading →

Thunder Bay: Ring of Fire development to be ‘slow, contested’ if Far North Act replacement stands as-is, legal expert says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – April 17,, 2019)

Province reviewing Far North Act to reduce ‘red tape’ over development

Ontario’s proposed revamping of legislation that dictates how development proceeds in the province’s far north doesn’t do enough to protect the rights of First Nations and will likely lead to “renewed conflict” with Indigenous communities, according to an environmental law expert.

That’s among the conclusions submitted by Dayna Scott, an associate professor at Osgoode Hall and a co-director of the law school’s environmental justice and sustainability clinic to the ongoing review of the Far North Act.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is reviewing the 2010 legislation with an eye on repealing it, “with a view to reducing red tape and restrictions on important economic development projects in the far north.” Continue Reading →