Ontario government tries to avoid confrontation with First Nations at PDAC
In what was clearly a strategic move, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines released a statement on Sunday saying that it has withdrawn all lands near the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) community from prospecting and mineral staking.
According to NetNewsLedger, KI Chief Donny Morris had been seeking to get the attention of the Ontario Government over concerns of mining activity on its band’s lands over the past weeks, with no results.
The news outlet also reports that leaders from KI will be in Toronto this week protesting at the world’s leading mining exploration Convention, PDAC, to insist that mining company God’s Lake Resources Inc. (GLR) stop prospecting for gold in the KI Homeland.
This is not the first time that the Ontario Government faces demands from the KI First Nation community. A few years ago, six of their members were arrested when they opposed Canadian miner Platinex Ltd. (TSX-V:PTX) that wanted to explore on their lands. In Dec 2009, Platinex received $5-million Cdn from the Ontario government to end the dispute and walk away from its project. The events moved Ontario to draw up a new Mining act and caused the province’s industry’s reputation some damage.
Now KI are targeting God’s Lake, a small company listed on the Canadian National Stock Exchange that they say is working on sacred burial ground.
The government’s statement added that it tried to facilitate communications between the two groups, and that the move does not affect God’s Lake’s existing claims. The withdrawn area covers 23,181 square kilometres.
The Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Rick Bartolucci, is expected to make an announcement about mineral exploration in the province in a few hours.