The Kemess North Mine Joint Review Panel has concluded that the mine "in its present form" would not be in the public interest. The Panel says that any economic and social benefits from the project are outweighed by its long-term risks to the environment and by its social and cultural impacts on Aboriginal people. It has recommended to federal and provincial environment Ministers that the project not be permitted.
The Panel’s report is available on the Web site of the BC Environmental Assessment Office at www.eao.gov.bc.ca. An executive summary in both official languages, along with further information on the project can be found on the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency Web site.
The Tse Keh Nay press release states:
First Nations welcome “brave recommendation” from Panel reviewing Kemess Mine expansion
September 18, 2007 (Amazay Lake, northern BC) –
The Tse Keh Nay First Nations have welcomed an Environmental Review Panel report that recommends against turning Amazay Lake into a mining waste dump.
A joint federal-provincial panel has been reviewing Northgate Minerals’ plan to use Amazay Lake to contain tailings from its proposed Kemess North copper-gold mine expansion, located 425 kilometres northwest of Prince George.
“The Tse Keh Nay congratulates the panel members on their brave recommendation, and calls upon both governments to follow the panel’s lead and protect Amazay Lake,” said Gordon Pierre, Grand Chief of the Tse Keh Nay.
“This is not just about protecting this lake for First Nations people; this is about protecting all lakes for all Canadians”, said Pierre. “There are currently over 20 lakes in Canada facing similar mining proposals and we are happy that a precedent has been set in Tse Keh Nay territory: killing lakes is unacceptable.”
The Chiefs of the Takla, Tsay Keh Dene, and Kwadacha Nations have been negotiating agreements with various mining and exploration companies in recent years.
“We are not against development in our Territories,” said Pierre. “However, we are against development such as Northgate’s proposal to kill a lake and the source of our communities’ drinking water.”
“In the spirit of the Province’s New Relationship we invite government and industry to engage with us immediately regarding mining and exploration development on Tse Keh Nay Territory,” said Pierre.
Chief Dolly Abraham – Takla First Nation: (250) 996-7877
Chief Donny Van Somer – Kwadacha Nation: (250) 471-2302 or 2402
Grand Chief Gordon Pierre, Tsay Keh Dene: (250) 993-2100
For more information: www.tsekehnay.net