Archive | Mining Conflict and Opposition

Solid Gold fights court order – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – January 27, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper

A mineral exploration company that was forced by injunction to halt drilling outside Wahgoshig First Nation has responded with a two-pronged legal attack.

Solid Gold Resource Corporation has filed an appeal against the court’s decision to award an injunction and it is suing the Ontario government.

“We’re appealing the injunction that was awarded to Wahgoshig, ordering the Crown and Solid Gold to enter some kind of consultation,” said company president Darryl Stretch. That appeal is to be heard on Feb. 29 in Toronto.

“We have also just served notice to the Crown for damages that have affected our company as a result of this injunction,” said Stretch. “That claim is for at least $100 million.” Continue Reading →

Miner Solid Gold sues Ontario over court ruling halting its operations – by Romina Maurino (Canadian Business – January 25, 2012)

This article came from the Canadian Business website:

The Canadian Press

TORONTO – Solid Gold Resources Corp. (TSXV:SLD) says it plans to sue the Ontario government for $100 million over a ruling that temporarily prevents the junior mining company from drilling on Crown land near traditional First Nation territory.

The company alleges the province is liable for losses it suffered after a ruling earlier this month sided with the Wahgoshig First Nation in saying Solid Gold failed to consult before beginning its exploration.

Solid Gold has said any duty to consult with First Nations falls to the government, not the mining company, and it’s not something the province can delegate.

Solid Gold president Darryl Stretch, who is appealing the injunction, said the ruling has far-reaching implications because it means it would now be up to companies to get consent from First Nations on any project that runs near their traditional land. Continue Reading →

Canadian mining company denies link to shooting death of protester in Mexico – by Peter O’Neil (National Post – Janurary 26, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

OTTAWA — Vancouver-based mining company Fortuna Silver says it has nothing to do with the shooting death of a protester in a town near the company’s mine site in Mexico.

Police have arrested the alleged shooter implicated in the death of Bernardo Mendez Vazquez, who was shot last week during a protest that news reports have linked to opposition to the gold and silver mine.

The shooting took place in the town of San Jose del Progreso, where the mine is the chief employer. The town and mine in the southwestern state of Oaxaca have been the sites of past conflicts involving groups who say the mine is an environmental threat to the arid region’s scarce water supply.

But Fortuna Silver president Jorge Ganoza said “misinformation” is behind media reports tying his company to the violence, which also left another protester with a leg wound. Continue Reading →

Gold junior [Solid Gold Resources] sues Ontario govt for C$100m over ‘precedent-setting’ ruling – by Matthew Hill ( – Janaury 24, 2012)

Mining Weekly is South Africa’s premier source of weekly news on mining developments in Africa’s most important industry. Mining Weekly provides in-depth coverage of mining projects and the personalities reshaping the mining industry.

TORONTO ( – Solid Gold Resources, a Toronto-based junior with precious-metals prospects in Ontario, said on Tuesday it is suing the Ontario government for C$100-million, and possibly more.

The company is seeking damages sustained as a result of a January 3 Superior Court of Ontario ruling that prevents it from drilling at its Lake Abitibi property, located east of Timmins in northern Ontario, for 120 days while the TSX-V-listed company consults with the Wahgoshig First Nation.

Judge Carol Brown’s judgement “squarely conflicts with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Haida Nation v. British Columbia, which held that third parties cannot be held liable for failing to discharge the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate,” Solid Gold said in a statement on January 19.

It said it would appeal the decision. Continue Reading →

NEWS RELEASE: NWT Mining Industry Recommends Mineral Resource Potential Remain Open for Development in the Ramparts Region

Yellowknife, NT – January 20, 2011.

The Chamber of Mines has submitted its recommendations that important mineral resources in the 10,000 square kilometre Ts’ude niline Tu’eyeta, or Ramparts area of the Northwest Territories be protected for its future development potential. The area is a candidate protected area under the NWT Protected Areas Strategy.

Geoscience studies reveal that large parts of the Ramparts area have the potential to host deposits of zinc, lead, copper, diamonds and oil & gas that could create socio‐economic opportunities for the K’asho Got’ine people, for the Sahtu region, and for the Northwest Territories. To maximize the opportunities, the Chamber recommends that the moderate to high mineral potential areas not be included under any protected area designation that blocks development forever.

The Chamber recommends the Sahtu Land Use Plan be the tool used for protection as it can be modified by future generations to accommodate their needs, it provides a more flexible approach to balancing environmental values and economic development, and it provides more control to local communities. Continue Reading →

What is going on at CIDA? [Aid dollars support miners] – by Elizabeth Payne (Ottawa Citizen – January 19, 2012)

Canada’s aid agency is becoming more politicized, less effective, and less transparent, writes Elizabeth Payne

Something is rotten at the Canadian International Development Agency. Many things, in fact, according to increasingly vocal critics who say Canada’s international development organization is becoming more politicized, less effective, and less transparent under the Conservative government, despite persistent claims to the contrary.

If CIDA has really introduced “more transparency, timeliness and predictability” as International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda claims, there is little sign of it.

Aid agencies are frustrated and demoralized by delays and lack of transparency in their dealings with CIDA. Some have cut programs and laid off staff as a result.

And the government’s recent habit of prioritizing and then deprioritizing countries for foreign aid dollars makes it difficult for aid agencies to build long-term relationships and has perplexed many in the international community. Continue Reading →

Arizona town bitterly split over copper mine – by Paul Waldie (Globe and Mail – January 19, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

Florence, Ariz., isn’t the kind of place that usually gets a lot of attention. After all, its main claim to fame is being home to nine prisons.

But these days Florence is up in arms over plans by a Canadian company to build a copper mine right in the middle of town. The proposed mine, by Vancouver-based Curis Resources Ltd., has garnered national attention and brought out some heavy hitters, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and developer Robert Sarver, who owns the Phoenix Suns basketball team.

Ms. Brewer has expressed support for the project, saying it will spark badly needed economic development in the area. Mr. Sarver, whose company has a housing project in town, is backing a campaign to stop the mine, arguing it will ruin the water supply.

The city’s 10,000 residents are bitterly divided over the proposed mine. A recent survey by city officials found 39 per cent of locals support the mine, 32 per cent don’t and 28 per cent aren’t sure. Continue Reading →

Oil sands money trail – by Vivian Krause (National Post – January 18, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Billionaire U.S foundations fund Canada’s green groups

Last week, on the eve of the environmental review for the $5.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline project that would carry Alberta oil to Kitimat for export to Asia, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources, Joe Oliver, expressed concern that foreign-funded environmentalists would jeopardize the review and block the pipeline. Oliver didn’t mention my name, but the research that raised concerns about the foreign funding of environmentalism in Canada is apparently mine.

For five years, on my own nickel, I have been following the money and the science behind environmental campaigns and I’ve been doing what the Canada Revenue Agency hasn’t been doing: I’ve gathered information about the origin and the stated purpose of grants from U.S. foundations to green groups in Canada. My research is based on U.S. tax returns because the U.S. Internal Revenue Service requires greater disclosure from non-profits than does the CRA.

By my analysis and calculations, since 2000, U.S. foundations have granted at least US$300-million to various environmental organizations and campaigns in Canada, especially in B.C. Continue Reading →

Canada: A global energy superpower – by Joe Oliver (National Post – January 17, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Joe Oliver is Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. These remarks, from a speech titled Canada: A global energy superpower, were made Monday at the Hart House Alumni Committee Dinner Series in Toronto.

Today, the oil sands account for one-10th of 1% — that is one, one-thousandth — of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have shown that life-cycle GHG emissions from the oil sands — the well-to-wheels calculation — are similar to, and in some cases lower than, several of the heavy crude oils produced elsewhere in the world, including California.

Close to 90% of the water used in the oil sands is recycled.

Scientists with my department are working with a consortium of oil sands companies to develop new technologies to deal with tailings. Rather than sitting in open ponds, we may soon see the day where tailings are reduced and compressed into dry, stackable blocks.

Yes, it takes time to reclaim land that has been used for oil sands mining, but it is being done. I walked through a forest in northern Alberta last summer. You would never know it had once been part of an oil sands project. Continue Reading →

A Mining Law Whose Time Has Passed – by Robert M. Hughes and Carol Woody (New York Times – January 11, 2012)

Op-Ed Contributors Robert M. Hughes and Carol Ann Woody are fisheries scientists based in Corvallis, Ore., and Anchorage, respectively.

IN 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a mining law to spur the development of the West by giving hard-rock mining precedence over other uses of federal land. But the law has long since outlived its purpose, and its environmental consequences have been severe.

Mining claims for copper, gold, uranium and other minerals cover millions of those acres, and the law, now 140 years old, makes it nearly impossible to block extraction, no matter how serious the potential consequences. Soaring metal prices are now driving new mine proposals across the West.

Oregon’s Chetco River is one example. The river’s gin-clear waters teem with wild trout and salmon, including giant Chinook salmon tipping scales at more than 60 pounds. In 1988, Congress designated the Chetco a national wild and scenic river “to be protected for the benefit of present and future generations.”

But the river is now threatened by proposals to mine gold along almost half of its approximately 55-mile length. Suction dredges would vacuum up the river bottom searching for gold, muddying water and disrupting clean gravel that salmon need to spawn. Continue Reading →

Thou must not question Big Environment – by Rex Murphy (National Post – January 14, 2012)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

Rex Murphy offers commentary weekly on CBC TV’s The National and is host of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup.

The environmental movement has enjoyed smooth, mostly untroubled progress since its beginnings in the 1960s, when its activists romped around the northern sea floes off the coast of Labrador. The enviros migrated with almost the same punctuality as the seals:

Every spring, you could treat yourself to the sight of them bobbing up and down on the ice-pans, high-bosomed starlets stroking the pelts of large-eyed newsmen and seals alike, whole platoons of photographers aiming for the perfect cute shot, and a kite tail of various enthusiasts and camp followers to give a sense of noise and drama. Labrador is more or less quiet these days: Those Who Care have decamped to the oil sands and other pastures.

Robert Redford, when he can tear himself away from the general dorkiness of the Sundance Festival, is big on saving the planet these days. James Cameron can generally be found rustling the vines somewhere in the Amazon rain forest. Leonardo DiCaprio is always good for a Vanity Fair cover as long as its backlit and there’s a polar bear somewhere. Continue Reading →

[Solid Gold Resources vs. Wahgoshig F.N.] Court, government threw junior miner “under the bus,” company claims – by Northern Ontario Business staff (January 11, 2012)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business  provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

A Thornhill, Ont. junior miner has come out swinging against an Ontario Superior Court decision that temporarily halted exploration in northeastern Ontario.

Solid Gold Resources fired back at Justice Carol Brown’s Jan. 3 ruling to side with the Wahgoshig First Nation in granting an injunction to temporarily halt exploration at the company’s Legacy gold project.

Solid Gold was ordered to stop its activity for 120 days while the company and the Ontario government pay for a third party mediator to begin a consultation process. The First Nation claimed it was not consulted on exploration activity and that the area in question holds significant cultural and archaeological values.

The company declined an interview request, but in a statement company president Darryl Stretch called the court’s ruling “plainly wrong on many levels.” Continue Reading →

First Quantum exits DRC with $1.25-billion settlement – by Brenda Bouw (Globe and Mail – January 6, 2012)

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s national newspaper with the second largest broadsheet circulation in the country. It has enormous influence on Canada’s political and business elite.

First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FM-T22.220.241.09%) is closing a painful chapter of its history in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by selling its mines and settling all legal claims for $1.25-billion (U.S.), years after its operations were nationalized by the government.

Vancouver-based First Quantum will sell the controversial Kolwezi copper-cobalt project, as well as its Frontier and Lonshi mines, to Kazakh miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. PLC, also known as ENRC, the same company it has been battling in international courts over its properties in DRC, one of the world’s most attractive copper regions.

The settlement comes as copper prices (HG-FT3.40-0.03-0.80%) are struggling to rebound from a 20-per-cent drop last year, amid worries that debt concerns in Europe and a slowdown in China’s rapidly growing economy could curb demand for the metal used in everything from cars to construction. Continue Reading →

Injunction ‘a matter of respect’ for First Nations – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – January 6, 2012)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper

Wahgoshig First Nation is not out to stop development, says Chief Dave Babin. The community, he added, simply wants its values respected by industry.

Wahgoshig won an injunction this week to halt mining exploration by Solid Gold Resource Corporation on its territory. The company was drilling in an area which the First Nation had identified as sacred ground.

“It’s a long-overdue issue that First Nations are facing with the industry and these are the things the industry has to understand with First Nations,” said Babin. “I’m not going to have people coming around here and terrorize the land because they feel they are following the Mining Act.

“They have to have respect for our cultural values within our territories. We have issues out there that we want to protect. It has no value to them but it has value to us.” Continue Reading →

[Aboriginal] Injunction shuts down [Northern Ontario] miner – by Carl Clutchey (Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal – January 6, 2012)

The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal is the daily newspaper of Northwestern Ontario.

A court ruling in favour of a Timmins-area First Nation regarding a mining dispute is further evidence that courts are backing up Aboriginal legal requirements to be consulted before drilling and staking begins.

“It proves the point that if you don’t follow the law, you’re going to end up in court and it’s going to cost your investors money,” Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy said Thursday.

Beardy was reacting to Ontario Superior Court of Justice Carol Brown’s decision this week that granted a 120-day injunction to Wahgoshig First Nation to temporarily prevent junior miner Solid Gold Resources from drilling on their land.

According to the ruling, “no consultation occurred with (WFN) before Solid Gold’s drilling began in the spring of 2011.” Continue Reading →