MAC media statement on KI Platinex court decision March 17, 2008



    OTTAWA, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
expressed regret today regarding the jailing of community leaders of
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwig First Nation ("KI"), an outcome of the dispute
between KI and mineral explorer Platinex Inc.
    "No one benefits from an outcome such as this, nor does it solve the
issues which are at the heart of this matter" stated Gordon Peeling MAC's
President and CEO. "What is in the collective interests of First Nations and
the minerals industry are the kinds of industry/Aboriginal collaboration and
agreements we see around mine developments such as with Diavik, Voisey's Bay,
with the oil sands miners, with Cameco in Saskatchewan, with the Victor and
Musselwhite mines in Ontario and at many other operations across Canada. These
outcomes are achieved through dialogue and respect, not the courts."
    On November 20, 2007, MAC signed a Letter of Intent with the Assembly of
First Nations to enter into a partnership to address issues of mutual concern,
such as the need for a clear approach by governments on consultation and
accommodation of First Nations, speedier land claims settlement and Aboriginal
participation in mining. In addition, the MAC Board has adopted a draft policy
that lays out the industry's commitments towards Aboriginal Peoples and is
presently consulting with Aboriginal communities and organizations on the
policy across Canada (see
http://www.mining.ca/www/Towards_Sustaining_Mining/index.php)
    "Canada's mining industry is the largest employer of Aboriginal peoples
and very likely has had the most success of any Canadian sector in working
effectively and successfully with First Nations," added Pierre Gratton, Vice
President, Sustainable Development and Public Affairs. "This has occurred
despite the great uncertainty that can exist around unsettled land claims and
the failure of governments to fulfill their duty to consult and accommodate
First Nations. The sooner provincial and federal governments start discharging
their obligations on a consistent basis, the sooner examples such as this week
will become a thing of the past."

    Based in Ottawa, The Mining Association of Canada is the national
organization for the Canadian mining industry. Its members are engaged in
mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.




For further information:

For further information: Pierre Gratton, (613) 233-9392 ext 319,
pgratton@mining.ca


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