Archive | Aboriginal and Inuit Mining

[Ontario] Aboriginal mining strategy getting underway: Waubetek to hire coordinator, launch clearinghouse this spring – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – February 16, 2018)

Funding is in place and a coordinator is being hired for the Aboriginal Mining Strategy for North-East Ontario, bringing the launch of the initiative closer to fruition.

Announced by the Waubetek Business Development Corp. in 2015, the three-year strategy outlines four strategic areas: developing Aboriginal mining industry knowledge; building mining industry relations; engaging a skilled Aboriginal workforce; and promoting Aboriginal business and partnerships.

The strategy’s goal, said Dawn Madahbee Leach, Waubetek’s general manager, is to help Aboriginal people become more involved in the mining industry. “It’s taken us a long time; it’s just been bumping back and forth to get some of the financial parts, but we finally did with some help from FedNor and the NOHFC,” said Madahbee Leach. Continue Reading →

Fortescue’s Aboriginal programme hits A$2bn mark – by Simone Liedtke ( – February 18, 2018)

JOHANNESBURG ( – Iron-ore major Fortescue Minerals’ ‘billion opportunities programme’ has reached the A$2-billion-mark, with 250 contracts and sub-contracts having been awarded to 110 Aboriginal businesses and joint ventures in the seven years since its inception.

CEO Nev Power said on Friday that the programme formed a critical element of the company’s approach to ensuring economic opportunity and participation, which were the focus of the native title agreements.

“Through the programme, we have encouraged and assisted the development of capability and capacity of Aboriginal businesses to supply a significant portion of the goods and services we need in our business,” Power added. Continue Reading →

Still No Charges for the Company Behind Canada’s Largest Mining Spill – by Carol Linnitt ( – February 12, 2018)

Canada has one of the worst records on the planet for making polluters like Imperial Metals pay.

The company responsible for the Mount Polley mine spill—one of the largest environmental disasters in Canadian history—has found out it’s not going to face any charges in British Columbia.

The news likely has billionaire Murray Edwards, owner of Imperial Metals and the Mount Polley mine (and the Calgary Flames) toasting with his rich friends in London (where he lives to avoid paying taxes).

If you’re not in BC, there’s a chance the aerial images of the disaster haven’t already scarred you forever. This is what the collapsed tailings pond at the Mount Polley mine looked like in August 2014. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario First Nation awaits ruling over contested mining exploration permit (CBC News Thunder Bay – February 12, 2018)

Eabametoong asking court to overturn Landore Resources Canada’s gold exploration permit to

A northern Ontario First Nation now waits for a court ruling over a contested mining exploration permit in its territory after hearings in Toronto wrapped up last week.

Lawyers representing Eabametoong First Nation were in Ontario divisional court on Feb. 7 and 8. The First Nation wants the panel of judges to overturn a permit issued in its territory by the province to Landore Resources Canada in 2016. Eabametoong has argued the province failed in its duty to consult.

“Our position isn’t really anything new that we’re asking the courts to do, in terms of extending the duty to consult beyond what’s already been established,” said Krista Robertson, a Victoria-based lawyer with JFK Law, and legal counsel to the First Nation. Continue Reading →

Sudbury Conference makes wide strides for Indigenous business – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – February 8, 2018)

Procurement, Employment and Partnerships Conference and Tradeshow highlights progress and lingering issues between Indigenous communities, business and government

There have been great improvements in relationships between Indigenous people, governments and companies, but there’s still more work to be done, say those who attended a first of its kind conference. For many, merely having a conference like this is a giant step in the right direction.

Hundreds packed the conference rooms at the Sudbury Holiday Inn for the inaugural Procurement, Employment and Partnership Conference and Tradeshow on Feb. 6 and 7, to listen to experts talk about their experiences, how things have changed, and what issues still need addressing.

The conference was organized by Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and presented by SNC-Lavalin. Continue Reading →

Liberals unveil overhaul of environmental legislation – by Gloria Galloway and Shawn McCathy (Globe and Mail – February 8, 2018)

The federal government is proposing to overhaul the way environmental assessments are conducted in Canada, aiming to reduce red tape, provide greater transparency and allow greater input from the public and Indigenous populations.

At the same time, Ottawa says it will replace the National Energy Board with a Calgary-based oversight body designed to respond to emerging energy developments that will make faster decisions guided by science and Indigenous knowledge. Liberal cabinet ministers held news conferences in cities across the country on Thursday to roll out the long-promised environmental legislation.

“The legislation we are introducing today aims to restore public trust in how the federal government makes decisions about major projects like mines, pipelines, and hydro dams,” Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told a news conference in Ottawa. “These better rules are designed to protect our environment while improving investor confidence, strengthening our economy and creating good middle-class jobs.” Continue Reading →

Noront sees some light from the Ring of Fire – by Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business – February 8, 2018)

Mine developer pleased First Nation partnership, government getting traction on access road

What a difference a year makes. Early last year, Noront Resources president-CEO Alan Coutts delivered a doom-and-gloom speech to a Sudbury crowd that cast doubt about whether the Toronto mine developer even saw a future in the Ring of Fire.

There was frustration over government inaction in planning an access road to reach the isolated James Bay mineral deposits, the glacial pace of dialogue with First Nation communities with the Regional Framework talks seemed to be going nowhere, and Coutts was dropping hints that the project could be shelved if the company’s financial backers weren’t seeing progress.

This time, an upbeat Coutts was striking a more optimistic tone as the featured headliner at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s Procurement, Employment and Partnerships Conference on Feb. 6. Continue Reading →

Ebametoong First Nation Set for Court with Ontario Government – by Amanda Perreault ( – February 6, 2018)

EABAMETOONG FIRST NATION – “The Keezhik and Miminiska Lakes areas are very special and important cultural areas for a large number of our members… As EFN, we recognize these family groups as being the stewards of these lands because they live there or spend seasons out on the land exercising their rights. They have always been part of that land.

As we have heard throughout community meetings on this issue, there are burial grounds, birthplaces, cabins used by our families, sensitive spawning areas, and rich hunting grounds throughout the area staked by Landore,” states Eabametoong First Nation Chief Elizabeth Atlookan.

The uncertain future of a pristine area of Northern Ontario will be argued before three judges in Toronto on February 7-8th. Despite concerns raised by community members about impacts to the environment and Aboriginal and Treaty rights, in March 2016 Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines issued mineral exploration permits to Landore Resources Inc. to drill for gold throughout a culturally and environmentally sensitive area. Continue Reading →

Expansion would secure Mary River’s future, Baffinland boss says – by Jim Bell (Naunatsiaq News – February 5, 2018)

“We will be insulated from the iron ore price”

OTTAWA—If Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is permitted to build its proposed Milne Inlet railway and expand production to 12 million tonnes of iron ore each year, the company will never again have to worry about plummeting ore prices, Baffinland boss Brian Penney said last week.

“We will be insulated from the iron ore price,” Penney, the company’s CEO, told delegates at a mining industry panel held during the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa.

That’s because the Mary River ore body, where a range of hills hold massive quantities of ore that are around 65 per cent pure iron, the greatest degree of purity that the laws of chemistry will allow, might be the richest iron ore deposit on the face of the earth, Penney said. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: B.C.’s Recent Crown Decision: How Can The Worst Mining Waste Disaster in Canadian History Not Have Legal Consequences?

BC Crown decision to quash Mount Polley private prosecution makes no sense

Source: FNWARM (First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining) – MiningWatch Canada

The BC Prosecution Service announced Tuesday that they were taking over and quashing the private prosecution of Mount Polley Mining Corporation over the tailings dam disaster. The charges were laid by Bev Sellars, Grandmother, former Chief of Xat’sull First Nation (Soda Creek), author, and indigenous advocate.

“It is my duty as a Grandmother to protect the environment for future generations. Indigenous people’s law stresses that you have to take care of the land for generations ahead. I pushed the pause button by pressing charges against Mount Polley before BC’s statute of limitations ran out,” said Sellars.

“Instead of the Crown taking over and holding Imperial Metals to account and bringing justice for this disaster, they have failed to act. They have failed First Nations, failed the people of BC, and failed future generations.” Continue Reading →

One of the world’s oldest miners has eyes on Ring of Fire, and set up shop in Sudbury to get there – by Darren MacDonald (Northern Life – January 30, 2018)

Thyssen Mining has long history of setting up joint ventures with First Nations, a key to get the Ring of Fire started

Back in October 2017, one of the world’s oldest mining companies set up an in Sudbury. Thyssen Mining’s goal was simple: The company needed a base of operations and with development of the Ring of Fire chromite deposit imminent, they wanted that base to be in a mining hub.

Greater Sudbury seemed the natural choice. “There’s a lot more action going on (at the Ring of Fire) than most people think,” said Tom Reid, who leads Thyssen’s local office. “We have been having meetings — I can’t get into details — but things are moving much better there than people think.

I’m optimistic that a mine will go into construction there no later than 2020. It is still a lot slower than what everybody wants. However, some people thought it was never going to go.” Continue Reading →

More major mines tapping Indigenous labour force – (Business Vancouver – January 30, 2018)

First Nations increasingly a key piece of puzzle in solving mining’s HR challenges

In recent years, two major copper mine proposals in B.C. – New Prosperity and Ajax – have been rejected by government, either largely or partly due to First Nations opposition.

What gets less publicity are mines that have been built with the support and co-operation of First Nations – Red Chris and Brucejack being among the most recent examples.

At last week’s Association for Mineral Exploration (AME) annual Roundup conference, Kim Rudd, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources Canada, pointed out that mining is the largest employer of First Nations in Canada, employing 11,000 Indigenous people. Continue Reading →

Northern Ontario First Nation wants gold exploration permit quashed in case that could have impact on Ring of Fire – by Jorge Barrera (CBC News Indigenous – January 27, 2018)

Mining company pushed to end consultation after Barrick Gold came knocking

No one kept a record of what was said during the meeting between mining company Landore Resources Canada and the Ontario ministry in January 2016, but at stake was a potential deal with Barrick Gold, the largest gold mining firm in the world.

Landore, a subsidiary of Landore Resources Ltd., based in the Guernsey Islands, U.K., was eyeing potential gold deposits in an area with two lakes about 40 kilometres from Eabametoong First Nation where several families had camps, traplines and burial sites. Eabametoong First Nation is about 350 km northeast of Thunder Bay, Ont.

The mining company requested the “urgent meeting” with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines because it wanted to wrap up consultations and obtain a permit to explore for gold, according to court records. Continue Reading →

‘The last frontier’: Arctic drilling ban big blow to Northern Indigenous communities, premier says – by Claudia Cattaneo (Financial Post – January 29, 2018)

The southern part of the NWT is benefitting from diamond mining.
Three mines are in operation. The sector created more than 26,000
person-years of employment between 1996 and 2006, and half of

those jobs went to Indigenous people, McLeod said. During the
same period, diamond mines spent more than $13 billion on
northern businesses, including $5.6 billion on businesses
owned by Indigenous people.

Reconciliation with Indigenous people shows up in many aspects of the federal political agenda. So why is it falling so short on economic reconciliation? Indeed, it seems the federal government’s approach to reconciliation is about giving with one hand and taking from the other.

Bob McLeod, the Metis premier of the Northwest Territories, re-enforced the point last week, joining a growing chorus of Indigenous leaders complaining the federal government is undermining their ability to make a living by going too far on environmental protection based on rigid models designed by the green lobby.

“Full reconciliation can’t just be about political and legal authority, it also has to be about economic power,” McLeod said in a speech to the Vancouver Board of Trade. “It is one thing to have the right to make decisions for yourselves, but if you have to depend on another government to fund their implementation, you have only achieved partial self-determination.” Continue Reading →

Ontario Government reluctant to rush Ring of Fire – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – January 26, 2018)

TIMMINS – One of the key people involved in planning for the Ring of Fire mining development said the Ontario Government is working to make sure that project doesn’t make the same mistakes that occurred when the De Beers Victor mine was developed.

The comments came Thursday from Ariane Heisey, one of the keynote speakers at the Mushkegowuk Council Climate Summit that was on in Timmins this week at the Ramada Inn. Heisey is a senior policy advisor for environmental assessments and land use planning with the Ring of Fire Secretariat.

“There is a vision for the Ring of Fire,” Heisey said as she began her presentation. “It is based on the lessons that were learned from the Victor Mine experience, where the mine came on stream before the First Nations in the area were ready.” Continue Reading →