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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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British Columbia First Nations forge partnership to participate in Seabridge Gold’s KSM project – by Amanda Strutt ( – 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.

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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.

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B.C. mineral tenure regime does not respect duty to consult, First Nations argue in challenge – by Ian Burns (Lawyers Daily – January 20, 2023)

British Columbia’s “free entry” mineral tenure regime, which has been largely unchanged for decades and is sometimes described as a Gold Rush-era relic, will soon be before a court due to challenges by two First Nations who say it has an adverse effect on their rights.

Under the provincial Mineral Tenure Act, there is an automatic registration system where a person known as a “free miner” can acquire a mineral claim on the Internet, select cells on a map and pay a fee of $1.75 per hectare to obtain a claim, with no notice required to the people whose land the miner stakes.

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Northern BC offers ESG mining benefits – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – January 19, 2023)

Working with First Nations is key to unlocking the Golden Triangle’s vast potential.

A world-class copper-gold district that is also enriched with nickel, cobalt, platinum group metals, and other critical minerals, the Golden Triangle region of Northern British Columbia is poised to be a major supplier of the mined commodities critical to a low-carbon future, cutting-edge technologies, and strong global economies.

“Responsible mineral exploration and development are critical to addressing our global challenges,” said Association for Mineral Exploration BC President and CEO Kendra Johnston. “The minerals and metals we discover ignite global supply chains, drive innovation and technology transformation, power new energy solutions, and help achieve a low-carbon future.”

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Ecological impact of Mount Polley mine disaster confirmed by new study – by Winston Szeto (CBC News British Columbia – May 25, 2022)

Research shows higher levels of metals in invertebrates taken from Polley and Quesnel lakes

A newly published scientific study confirms the deep ecological impact of the Mount Polley mine disaster in B.C.’s Cariboo region nearly eight years ago.

The study, published last week in the academic journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research, shows small invertebrates taken from lake water affected by the tailings spill disaster had a higher concentration of copper and other metals than those taken from unaffected lake water.

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Tahltan First Nation shows its mining mettle – by Nelson Bennett (Business In Vancouver – March 24, 2022)

Tahltan territory is the size of Portugal and rich in precious metals

Gold, jade, copper, nickel, obsidian, silver – the northwest corner of B.C., dubbed the Golden Triangle, is rich in precious and base metals. Roughly 70% of this mineral-rich region is claimed by the Tahltan First Nation as traditional territory – an area roughly the size of Portugal.

The Tahltan claimed sovereignty over their territory in a formal declaration in 1910. Though at the time its leaders expressed an interest in treaty negotiations, the Tahltan First Nation is among the few in B.C. that never entered the B.C. treaty process.

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Tahltan Nation signs distribution deal for Sandvik equipment – by Staff (Canadian Mining Journal – February 16,, 2022)

Sandvik and Tahltan Nation Development Corp. (TNDC) have entered into an agreement to establish TNDC as a reseller of Sandvik mining equipment, parts, tools, and digital solutions for northwestern British Columbia and the Yukon.

Northwestern B.C. and Yukon’s mining industries have seen rapid growth and increased investment over the past several years. Newcrest Mining, Seabridge Gold, Skeena Resources and others are actively developing the potential yet remote Golden Triangle region – a world-class mining jurisdiction with a thriving mineral exploration sector.

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Newmont completes acquisition of GT Gold – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 17, 2021)

Newmont (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT), the world’s No. 1 gold miner, completed on Monday the acquisition of GT Gold, after it grabbed the remaining 85.1% of common shares of the Canadian explorer it did not already own.

The C$393 million ($325m) cash deal, first announced in March, gives the US-based gold giant the Tatogga gold-copper project, located in the Traditional Territory of the Tahltan Nation.

“With the acquisition of GT Gold and the Tatogga project in the highly sought-after Golden Triangle district of British Columbia, Canada, Newmont continues to strengthen our world-class portfolio,” Newmont president and CEO Tom Palmer said in the statement.

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