KI, Province agree to meet

Oct. 27, 2011

Rick Garrick

Wawatay News

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (KI) will be meeting with the Ontario government to discuss God’s Lake Resources Inc.’s mineral exploration activities in the community’s traditional territory.

John Cutfeet, a spokesman for KI, said the province has to explain why the company was granted access into its territory through the government’s permitting process.

“The meeting has to begin to address the fact that those permits were put in place without due process, proper consultation and making KI aware that this was happening.” Cutfeet said Oct. 20. “We’re trying to find a date where we can discuss this in an open manner with Ontario.”

A Ministry of Northern Development and Mines spokesman said ministry staff have accepted an invitation to visit KI in the near future to discuss areas of mutual interest.

Rick Winston, senior communications officer with MNDM, said his ministry encourages mineral exploration and development in a manner consistent with the recognition of existing Aboriginal and treaty rights, including the duty to consult.

“Since 1999, First Nations and industry have signed more than 80 mineral development benefit agreements, many of which identify economic-related benefits that support First Nations participation in Ontario’s mineral sector,” Winston said.

God’s Lake Resources president and chief executive officer Eduard Ludwig said his company would not be doing any further activity on the old gold mine site until they see the outcome of the meeting.

“I’m pleased for KI that they finally got their panel discussion with the Ontario government,” Ludwig said Oct. 21.

God’s Lake, a junior gold exploration company based out of Toronto, Ont., has done a preliminary inspection of an old mine site, about 410 kilometres north of Red Lake, Ont., an area KI said is in its traditional territory. But Ludwig said his company has not done any formal exploration at the site.

“We haven’t even come up with a first phase,” Ludwig said.

Ludwig also walked around the old mine site to verify data from previous holders of the mine site and to take soil samples.

Ludwig said he wants the community and Ontario to form a consultation process that both his company and KI can work with.

“We would like to still speak with KI,” Ludwig said. “Our door is open at anytime to engage in some sort of consultation process.”

KI issued an eviction notice to God’s Lake Resources Sept. 28 when the community discovered the company had ignored community warnings.