[For an earlier post with background information see our August 2011 article]
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has told affected First Nations, local residents and public interest groups that the review of the proposed Elmtree Gold Mine is on hold. As reported in regional media, Castle Resources needs to re-assess the economics of the project before proceeding with the development of its environmental impact statement.
The economic study the company had been relying on made inaccurate assumptions about the processing of the or. New, more costly options are having to be found, which could make the project unfeasible.
Citizens of the area are not letting their guard down and they continue to resist the proposal. In September, they sent a letter to the company indicating their strong opposition to the project. Below are selected quotes from the letter.
We have been witnessing the overwhelming opposition of the community to your proposed project. Thus far, over 800 members of the community have signed a petition, urging the Federal Minister of Environment, the Honorable Peter Kent, to deny a permit for your company to proceed with the exploitation of this mine...
Noting the overwhelming opposition of the community to this project, and the legal rights of the landowners to deny their consent, due to the damage or interference with the said maple tree plantation and camps, we would like to inform you that the community will not stand behind your project...
Our quality of life is important to us. Many of us have lived on this land for generations, and plan to continue to do so undisturbed.
Castle Resources has made several statements indicating it will not proceed unless it has agreements from land-owners, local governments and First Nations. It has agreement from none of these but continues to explore the economics of the project.