Copper One, Quebec gov’t lock horns

Shares in Canadian junior Copper One (TSX-V:CUO) soared Monday, climbing as much as 15.4% in midday trading, as the company announced it had begun proceedings against the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) in the superior court over a denied permit.

The Toronto-based miner said it has reasons to believe the province’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MERN) influenced MFFP in order to delay or prevent the issuance of a forestry permit for the company.

The miner’s actions stem from a decision by the province’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources last month to suspend all the company's claims related to its Riviere Dore project.

As result, Copper One is taking the MFFP to the superior court to force issuance of such licence, which would allow the firm to remove trees in order to access its Riviere Dore site and start drilling, it said Monday.

The miner’s actions stem from a decision by the MERN last month to, once again, suspend all the company's claims related to its Riviere Dore project, 150 km southeast of Val d’Or, after the Algonquin community said they were strongly opposed to further exploration work on their territory, and threatened to blockade the claims.

Copper One was supposed to have 15 days to respond to the minister’s decision expressed in a letter dated Jan. 17 and received by the firm on Jan. 20, but authorities made a public announcement on the suspension on Jan. 26, only nine days after the original notice, the company said.

Riviere Dore nickel-copper project, which spans 1,032 claims covering an area of 600 square km, is Copper One’s only asset. The claims were first placed under suspension in Feb. 2012, retroactively to July 2011, but Quebec lifted the moratorium last June and extended the permits for an additional two years.