[B.C. Mining] ‘To us, that border doesn’t exist’ – by Nathan Venderklippe (Globe and Mail – April 19, 2024)


Alaska Indigenous groups want a say in B.C. mining projects they fear could hurt their livelihoods. A border stands in the way – but they hope a Canadian court ruling strengthens the case for ignoring it

Eulachon grease meets the tongue with a marine burn, a bracing tang extracted by fermenting great numbers of the smelt-like fish, then simmering and breaking them apart. The process liberates the fish’s oil, which historically formed a kind of currency among the Indigenous nations of the Pacific Northwest, who traded it as a valuable source of fat.

Today, those still able to find it in southeast Alaska apply it as a condiment to boiled potatoes, herring eggs or kajumps, a fish soup. “That’s real gold there,” Louie Wagner says, as he eyes a jar of the grease he keeps frozen, its contents a light tawny yellow. “Gold you can eat.”

Read more

Alaskan tribes seek historic legal recognition from B.C. gov’t for review of mining project – by Caitrin Pilkington (CBC News Canada North – February 07, 2024)


Coalition wants to be part of environmental review for Eskay Creek gold mine

An Alaska-based coalition of Indigenous governments has applied to be part of a B.C. environmental review process. Representatives of the Southeast Alaska Indigenous Transboundary Commission say they’re concerned about the environmental impacts of a proposed project that would see work resume at Eskay Creek, a former open-pit gold mine. The mine, which mining company Skeena Resources hopes to revive, lies about 85 kilometres northwest of Stewart, B.C.

Skeena’s proposal would see workers make use of some of the old mine’s existing facilities, extracting up to three million tonnes of gold and silver ore per year. The proposed mine would be in operation for nine years.

Read more

British Columbia’s Nisga’a Nation plans Indigenous-majority owned royalty company – by Blair McBride (Mining.com – February 1, 2024)


The Nisga’a Nation in northwest BC is forming Canada’s largest Indigenous-majority owned public royalty company, demonstrating the increasing power of First Nations in resource development.

A new agreement announced Thursday gives the Nisga’a a majority stake in the newly formed Nations Royalty. Vega Mining will acquire from the Nisga’a the rights to five existing annual benefit payment entitlements with projects in the Golden Triangle, in exchange for common shares in Vega’s capital. The privately-owned Vega — about which little public information is available — will be renamed Nations Royalty Corp.

Read more

B.C. and Tahltan Nation sign agreement requiring consent for changes to mine (Canadian Press/Vancouver Sun – November 1, 2023)


The agreement means substantial changes to the existing environmental assessment certificate for the Red Chris mine can only proceed with Tahltan approval.

A new agreement between the province and an Indigenous government in northern B.C. will require the nation’s consent ahead of any significant changes at a major copper and gold mine.

Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government, says the agreement means substantial changes to the existing environmental assessment certificate for the Red Chris mine can only proceed with Tahltan approval.

Read more

COMMENTARY: It’s time for U.S. government to hold Canada accountable for transboundary river impacts in Alaska – by Brenda Schwartz-Yeager (Alaska Beacon – August 16, 2023)


Two years ago this fall, I testified at a Wrangell Borough Assembly meeting in support of yet another resolution calling on the U.S. federal government to be firm with British Columbia and Canada in protecting the Stikine River, as well as the Taku and Unuk rivers.

These transboundary rivers, the lifeblood of Southeast Alaska, are threatened by the more than 30 B.C. gold mines in some phase of development just over the border. Over a dozen of them are located within the Stikine-Iskut watershed.

Read more

Time for Canada to fix its First Nations Problem – by John Kaiser (Kaiser Watch Podcast – August 11, 2023)


Why did FPX Nickel drop sharply on Wednesday?

FPX Nickel Corp released a vague Aug 9, 2023 Update on its 2012 MOU with Tl’azt’en Nation which the market didn’t really understand until it tracked down the publication referred to by FPX, Dust’Lus Talo ‘Ooza’ August 2023, a monthly newsletter of the Tl’azt’en Nation.

Page 4 contained a declaration by Chief Leslie Aslin, elected in June 2022, that after more than a decade of collecting from FPX Nickel whatever benefits accrued from the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding, the Tl’azt’en Nation has decided it is unequivocally against development of Baptiste, which would become the world’s first awaruite based nickel mine in a secure jurisdiction, possibly with a zero carbon footprint, producing more than 4 decades of “clean” nickel relative to the dirty nickel Indonesia and Russia supplies (double that if Van is developed).

Read more

These are 11 of B.C.’s most ‘polluting and risky’ mines – by Francesca Fionda (The Narwhal – May 25, 2023)


Mining is big business in B.C. and it’s an industry that produces a lot of waste. A new report highlights 11 mines of concern and what’s stopping the province from getting them to clean up their acts

Chief Francis Laceese of Tl’esqox describes the Gibraltar mine as a “disaster waiting to happen.” Located about 60 kilometres north of Williams Lake, B.C., it’s the fourth-largest open-pit mine in North America. Laceese’s Tsilqot’in community, Tl’esqox, is directly downstream.

The Gibraltar copper mine is among B.C.’s most polluting and high risk mines, according to a report released today by SkeenaWild Conservation Trust and BC Mining Law Reform Network. Eleven mines are listed based on their proven or probable impacts to the environment, unsafe management of tailings waste, non-compliance with environmental permits and violations of Indigenous Rights.

Read more

Newmont set to become a major player in Canadian mining with $19.5 billion deal for Newcrest – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – May 15, 2023)


B.C.’s Golden Triangle will be key for world’s largest gold producer

British Columbia is set to become a key mining destination for Newmont Corp., as the world’s largest gold producer inked an agreement on May 15 to take over Australia’s largest gold company, Newcrest Mining Ltd., for about US$19.5 billion.

The agreement, which is subject to shareholder approval, will increase Newmont’s presence in B.C.’s “Golden Triangle,” the loosely defined region in northwestern B.C. that has been a favourite of prospectors seeking gold and copper since the 19th century. Nearly 150 mines have operated in the region over that time.

Read more

Crown lawyer suggests negotiations process if province loses mining claims challenge – by Bob Mackin (Business In Vancouver – April 14, 2023)


The Gitxaala Nation wants the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn mineral claims granted between 2018 and 2020 on Banks Island because it says there was no consultation

If a B.C. Supreme Court judge rules in favour of the First Nation challenging B.C.’s online mining claims program, a lawyer for the provincial government says the court should order the two sides to negotiate a new system.

The Gitxaala Nation, based in Kitkatla, wants the court to overturn mineral claims the province granted between 2018 and 2020 on Banks Island because it says there was no consultation. Gitxaala lawyers say that breached the Crown’s constitutional duty to First Nations and was contrary to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), which B.C. adopted in 2019.

Read more

B.C.’s mining rights claims system being challenged by province’s top court – by Justine Hunter (Globe and Mail – April 11, 2023)


British Columbia’s long-standing system for awarding mining rights is being challenged at B.C. Supreme Court this week in a judicial review that will test the strength of the province’s Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Two cases being heard together, brought by the Gitxaała and the Ehattesaht First Nations, argue that mining claims awarded under the Mineral Tenure Act violated the provincial government’s legal obligation to seek “free, prior and informed consent” before allowing development within the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples.

Read more

Excerpt from Ring of Fire: High-Stakes Mining in a Lowlands Wilderness – by Virginia Heffernan (April 6, 2023)

Click Here to Order Book: https://amzn.to/3FVk4hK

A valuable discovery under the world’s second-largest temperate wetland and in the traditional lands of the Cree and Ojibway casts light on the growing conflict among resource development, environmental stewardship, and Indigenous rights

When prospectors discovered a gigantic crescent of metal deposits under the James Bay Lowlands of northern Canada in 2007, the find touched off a mining rush, lured a major American company to spend fortunes in the remote swamp, and forced politicians to confront their legal duty to consult Indigenous Peoples about development on their traditional territories. But the multibillion-dollar Ring of Fire was all but abandoned when stakeholders failed to reach a consensus on how to develop the cache despite years of negotiations and hundreds of millions of dollars in spending. Now plans for an all-weather road to connect the region to the highway network are reigniting the fireworks.

In this colorful tale, Virginia Heffernan draws on her bush and newsroom experiences to illustrate the complexities of resource development at a time when Indigenous rights are becoming enshrined globally. Ultimately, Heffernan strikes a hopeful note: the Ring of Fire presents an opportunity for Canada to leave behind centuries of plunder and set the global standard for responsible development of minerals critical to the green energy revolution.

EXCERPT: Ring of Fire – Transformative Changes For First Nations Embracing Mining Development – by Virginia Heffernan

If you journey north from the coastal communities of Moose Factory and Attawapiskat, hugging the curvaceous eastern shoreline of James and then Hudson Bay, you eventually reach the inlet that leads to the hamlet of Baker Lake in Nunavut. It’s the geographic centre of Canada. Baker Lake has been transformed by gold mining over the past decade.

Read more

In the Courts: First Nation takes B.C. government to court over Brucejack mine – by Dustin Godfrey (Business In Vancouver – February 2023)


The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha Nation is taking the province to court claiming the government failed in its duty to consult with the First Nation regarding a mining company’s acquisition of a mine in its territory, and has failed to work with the mine’s new owners and the nation to continue negotiations of a benefit-sharing agreement.

Newcrest Mining Ltd. (TSX:NCM) announced in late 2021 its interest in acquiring Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX, NYSE:PVG) and the Brucejack gold mine. The First Nation, also referred to as the TSKLH Nation, had been in negotiations with Pretium regarding a benefit-sharing agreement.

Read more

Nisga’a and Tahltan First Nations partner on gold mining project with Seabridge Gold – by Alex Antrobus (Terrance Standard – February 9, 2023)


The Nisga’a and Tahltan First Nations have announced the Treaty Creek Limited Partnership, which aims to optimize their participation and economic benefits from the KSM mining project.

The KSM mining site, owned and operated by Seabridge Gold, is situated within the Golden Triangle — an area of northern B.C. that has historically been a resource-rich area. This particular mining operation seeks to extract gold, copper, silver, and molybdenum.

Read more

British Columbia First Nations forge partnership to participate in Seabridge Gold’s KSM project – by Amanda Strutt (Mining.com – January 26, 2023)


British Columbia’s Tahltan Nation and Nisg̱a’a Nation announced Thursday that they have joined together in a new partnership that brings new life to a historic and centuries-old Peace Treaty, through the Treaty Creek Limited Partnership.

The partnership was announced on the final day of AME Roundup conference in Vancouver and will optimize the Nisga’a and Tahltan’s participation at the massive Seabridge KSM project.

Read more

Three new B.C. mines aim to pour first gold in 2024 – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – January 25, 2023)


Of eight new mines or expansions in the queue, one is on Nisga’a Nation treaty land

There are currently eight new mines or mine expansions in the queue in B.C. worth a total investment of $6.6 billion, according to Premier David Eby, who spoke Monday at the Association of Mineral Exploration (AME) Roundup conference.

Two of those new mines are aiming to be in production in a little over a year from now, and one is unique in that it will be the first mine to be built on Nisga’a Nation treaty land.

Read more