Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining and Oil/Gas

Provincial money ends for Ring of Fire talks as Matawa chiefs await response, negotiator says – by Matt Prokopchuk (CBC News Thunder Bay – November 9, 2018)

Matawa chiefs negotiator Bob Rae says First Nations ‘ready to move ahead’

The lead negotiator for the chiefs of Indigenous communities closest to the Ring of Fire says they’re still waiting to hear back from the provincial government about how talks will look going forward.

That comes as Bob Rae says money committed by the province since 2013 that funded a number of initiatives through the regional framework agreement between Ontario and the nine member communities of the Matawa Tribal Council ran out at the end of October.

“We’re ready to move ahead with discussions on the key elements of the regional framework which has been agreed to,” Rae said. “We’re ready to sit down with the province and the federal government whenever they’re ready to respond.” Continue Reading →

Lack of consultation on Ring of Fire development frustrates First Nation communities – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – November 9, 2018)

Neskantaga, Eabametoong want negotiated settlement with Queen’s Park, threaten legal action

The lack of an all-inclusive provincial strategy to advance development in the Ring of Fire is frustrating two remote First Nation communities in the area of the Far North mineral deposits.

In a Nov. 9 news release, the communities of Neskantaga and Eabametoong called out the Ford government for suspending a provincially-sponsored consultation process, known as the Regional Framework Agreement, and not replacing a fired negotiator.

“This will slow the process of reaching agreement and, potentially, delay future developments in the Ring of Fire. However, we remain committed to the process and the principles already agreed,” said Neskantaga First Nation Chief Wayne Moonias in a statement. Continue Reading →

Active participants: A new study finds greater native involvement in resource projects – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – November 7, 2018)

Trans Mountain—it’s likely been Canada’s biggest and most discouraging resource story this year. The subject of well-publicized protests, the proposed $9.3-billion pipeline extension met federal court rejection on the grounds of inadequate native consultation.

But any impression of uniform aboriginal opposition to that project in particular or resource projects in general would be false, a new report emphasizes. In fact native involvement increasingly advances from reaping benefits to taking active part, with corresponding advantages to individuals and communities.

That’s the case for the oil and gas sector, forestry, hydro-electricity and fisheries, with mining one of the prominent examples provided by the Montreal Economic Institute in The First Entrepreneurs – Natural Resource Development and First Nations. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: First Nations get richer thanks to oil, mining, and forests (Montreal Economic Institute – November 6, 2018)

For full report:

MONTREAL, Nov. 6, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ – Contrary to the widely held belief that they systematically oppose projects, numerous indigenous communities have embraced the development of natural resources to improve their quality of life, shows a Research Paper published today by the MEI.

“First Nations are far from being unanimously opposed to development. Things have changed a lot in the past 25 years,” points out Germain Belzile, Senior Associate Researcher at the MEI and author of the publication. He cites among others the examples of the Cree of northern Quebec, who are active in the mining sector, the Lax Kw’alaams and Kitselas of British Columbia, operating in the forestry and natural gas sectors respectively, and the Fort McKay Nation, which is growing rich from Alberta oil.

This latter case reveals the change in mindset. In the early 1960s, opposition to oil sands development projects was nearly unanimous in Fort McKay. Today, the nation is heavily involved in oil development, and is no longer dependent on the federal government. In recent years, only 5% of Fort McKay’s revenues came from federal transfers. Continue Reading →

Excerpt from “Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold” – by Deb Vanasse (October 29, 2018)

Kate Carmack was recently inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame for her part in discovering the Klondike gold fields. She is the first Aboriginal woman inducted into the Hall of Fame. Deb Vanasse has written the definitive story of Carmack’s fascinating life. Click here to order a copy of “Wealth Woman: Kate Carmack and the Klondike Race for Gold”:

Deb Vanasse is an American writer of seventeen books, many of which are set in Alaska. She first became interested in the story of Kate Carmack when she hiked the “meanest miles” of the Chilkoot Trail, where as a young woman Kate packed for prospectors over the summit. After 36 years in Alaska, she now lives in Oregon, where she continues to write while doing freelance editing, coaching, and writing instruction. She is a co-founder of 49 Writers.

Gold I Bring – Excerpt from Chapter One

The Roanoke is loaded with gold. Bags, cans, boxes, and crates cram its lower deck, jammed with a whopping ten tons of the precious metal panned and sluiced by lucky devils in the northern wilderness. Only a year ago, few had heard of the patch of low mountains and dense northern spruce now known as the Klondike. But these days, like an incantation of magic, the very word Klondike invokes abundance, the vindication of the American dream and the triumph of the individual in its most measurable manifestation: wealth.1 Continue Reading →

Andrew Forrest’s lifetime of achievement – by Ben Creagh (Australian Mining – October 25, 2018)

Andrew Forrest’s optimistic view of the mining industry is undoubtedly one of his most noticeable traits. This optimism has driven the growth of Fortescue Metals Group from an ambitious exploration and development company in 2003 to the world’s fourth largest iron ore producer today.

It is what has made ‘Twiggy’ one of the most well-known and enduring personalities in Australian mining. And it is one reason why he has been honoured with the Liebherr Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

As Fortescue’s inaugural chairman, then chief executive officer and now chairman once more, Forrest has guided the company into a powerhouse of the Pilbara. The Perth-based company today produces 170 million tonnes of iron ore a year from its Pilbara mine sites. Its focus on productivity and improving efficiencies has helped it become the lowest cost seaborne provider of iron ore into China. Continue Reading →

Column: Why can’t Ottawa get Indigenous consultation right? – by Elmira Aliakbari and Ashley Stedman (Calgary Herald – October 22, 2018)

Elmira Aliakbari is associate director of natural resource studies and Ashley Stedman is a senior policy analyst at the Fraser Institute.

After weeks of consideration, the Trudeau government recently said it would not appeal the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to quash the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, and would instead further consult Indigenous groups for an undetermined amount of time.

It seems the government’s approach to Indigenous consultation is try and try again. This time, the government hopes that appointing former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to oversee the consultation process will get the process “right.” Remember, this latest move comes after the government sought “deeper consultations with Indigenous peoples” in 2016.

Undoubtedly, conducting meaningful consultations with Indigenous communities is important. However, a trial-and-error approach is fraught with uncertainty and potential delays. But there’s another way. Instead of this flawed approach reliant on judicial interpretations, the government can pass legislation to better define what “duty to consult” actually means. Continue Reading →

Feds give nod to expansion plan for western Nunavut gold mine – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – October 15, 2018)

But “high levels of Inuit employment” sought at TMAC Resources’ Madrid-Boston project

CAMBRIDGE BAY—The planned expansion for TMAC Resources Inc.‘s gold mine near Cambridge Bay has cleared one of its final hurdles.

On Friday, Caroline Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, and Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental and northern affairs and internal trade, issued a letter saying they accepted the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s recommendation to issue a project certificate for the company’s proposed Madrid-Boston project.

Last June, the review board spelled out 39 recommendations for the project. In their letter, dated Oct. 10, the ministers accepted all the terms and conditions recommended by the review board. But they agreed with a call from the Kitikmeot Inuit Association to tweak one recommendation on Inuit employment, so TMAC will now be obliged, through various committees, to report and examine “barriers and opportunities to achieving the high levels of Inuit employment.” Continue Reading →

Looking up, up north: The territories reap tangible and intangible benefits from their biggest industry – by Greg Klein (Resource Clips – October 5, 2018)

Nunavut’s environmental review said no to a mining proposal but Ottawa said yes. What happened? Hoping to finally make a profit at its four-year-old Mary River operation, Baffinland Iron Mines asked permission to boost production from 4.2 million tonnes annually to six million tonnes.

Worried about possible environmental effects, the Nunavut Impact Review Board recommended in late August that the federal government reject the proposal. But it was the NIRB recommendation that got rejected. Five cabinet ministers approved the mine’s request, for the time being anyway.

Swaying the decision was the support of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, whose members “strongly support the Production Increase Proposal as a method of furthering Inuit aspirations in the region,” Ottawa stated. Support also came from Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq, who urged a swift decision in favour. Continue Reading →

Investors frustrated as diamond mine talks between province, First Nation stall – by Alex MacPherson (Saskatoon StarPhoenix – October 15, 2018)

Investors in a proposed diamond mine east of Prince Albert are growing increasingly frustrated as environmental consultations between the provincial government and the nearby James Smith Cree Nation appear to have stalled.

The federal government approved Star Diamond Corp.’s plan to build the mine in the Fort à la Corne forest in 2014. More than four years after receiving the company’s final environmental impact statement, the province has yet to give its blessing.

That is likely because a fresh round of talks with James Smith Cree Nation, launched last winter and originally expected to last six months, appear to have reached an impasse over various concerns, including access to land and natural resource royalties. Continue Reading →

[IDM Mining] Stewart leaders support Red Mountain Mine – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – October 11, 2018)

IDM Mining Ltd. Oct. 8 announced that it has been issued the provincial environmental assessment for its proposed Red Mountain gold-silver mine, a milestone that was heralded by First Nations, municipal and provincial leaders from the area of northwestern British Columbia where the underground mine is to be developed.

“Responsible natural resource development is an important part of our government’s plan to develop sustainable economies in rural B.C, with mining a cornerstone industry in the Northwest. We applaud the hard work by IDM and all stakeholders that contributed to this decision to advance the Red Mountain gold project,” said Hon. Doug Donaldson, MLA (member of the legislative assembly) for Stikine.

In 2017, IDM submitted the application for an underground gold mine at Red Mountain; mill and tailings site in the adjacent Bitter Creek Valley; water treatment facilities; access road from Highway 37 just north of Stewart, BC; and powerline interconnection from BC Hydro grid. Continue Reading →

Timmins metals explorer signs MOU with First Nation: Pancontinental Resources partners with Flying Post First Nation – by Staff (Northern Ontario Business – October 12, 2018)

A junior miner searching for battery-grade metals in the Timmins area has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a nearby First Nation community. Pancontinental Resources (Pancon) inked the cooperation agreement with Flying Post First Nation, northwest of Timmins, which came into effect Oct.1.

The Toronto-based exploration outfit has three early stage nickel-cobalt-copper projects in the area. The MOU indicates that the company respects Aboriginal and treaty rights when engaged in exploration activities, and lays out a framework for future engagement.

It sets down a consultation and accommodation process with the First Nation, that, as the projects advance, can evolve into negotiations for an impact benefit agreement (IBM) should any of the three projects reach the feasibility stage. Continue Reading →

Kate Carmack will be joining nation’s mining hall of fame (Whitehorse Star – October 11, 2018)

The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame (CMHF) will welcome five individuals who have made lasting contributions to Canada’s mining industry – including a Yukon legend.

Kate Carmack is included in the inductees. She will be joining the Klondike Discoverers, who were originally inducted as a group in 1999. The group included George Carmack, Robert Henderson, Skookum Jim Mason and Dawson Charlie.

Each have traditionally been credited with the discovery that led to the Klondike Gold Rush, which would essentially establish the Yukon. New information has been uncovered that Kate Carmack also played an integral role in the discovery. Continue Reading →

Canadian miner and First Nation work together on “new wonder material” project – by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud ( – October 7, 2018)

In a moment where Canada is moving forward with a few different energy projects that involve complex consultation processes with communities, Ontario-based Zenyatta Ventures announced the launching of a partnership with the Constance Lake First Nation for the development of the Albany Graphite Project.

Located in northeastern Ontario, about 30 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Albany Graphite Deposit is thought to be the largest ultra high-purity graphite deposit in the area.

During the exploration phase, two vertical, carrot-shaped breccia pipes that extend some 500 metres and are open at depth were discovered. Now that such a phase is over, Zenyatta considered it was appropriate to start the development stage by involving the Constance Lake First Nation in a more active role. Continue Reading →

The Liberals’ pipeline plan is more hopeless consultations and useless studies – by Gwyn Morgan (Financial Post – October 4, 2018)

The court’s made the ‘adequacy’ of any degree of Aboriginal consultation impossible to predict

For the second time in two years, three judges with the Federal Court of Appeal struck down a crucially important oil export pipeline project that had undergone years of regulatory review, a decision that Ottawa now says it refuses to appeal.

The Harper government’s approval of Northern Gateway was struck down in 2016 after Enbridge spent half-a-billion dollars on a massive six-year review and Aboriginal consultation process. Now the Trans Mountain expansion, approved after a billion-dollar expenditure by Kinder Morgan, and since purchased by the federal government, has met the same fate.

It’s bad enough that a private company can’t get a fully approved infrastructure project done, but can you think of any other country in the world where three judges can overrule the ability of a national government to exercise its constitutional right to build its own project? Continue Reading →