WENDAKE, QC, Nov. 6, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The AFNQL Chiefs held an Assembly in Montreal on October 23th where they adopted the Resolution No. 20/2014, supporting the position of the Eagle Village and Wolf Lake Algonquin First Nations, that a moratorium on mining of toxic Rare Earth elements should be included in the moratorium on the mining of uranium in Quebec. This position will be communicated to the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) and the government of Quebec.
Matamec Explorations, Inc. proposes the construction, operation and decommissioning of a rare earths open-pit mine that would process 1.3 million tonnes of ore per year over a 15-year operation period, about 40 kilometres east of the municipality of Kipawa, on a territory where Eagle Village and Wolf Lake First Nations assert Aboriginal Title and Rights.
The government of Quebec has not fulfilled its duty to consult or accommodate owed to the two Algonquin First Nations in the exploration phase or the current development phase of the proposed Rare Earths open pit mine.
The results of the two Algonquin First Nations cultural and socio-economic assessments already indicate that the Matamec Rare Earths Project will have an irreversible impact on their quality of life, their customs, traditions and access to and use of their traditional lands and the proposed location of the open pit mine, waste rock tailings, new road construction, processing plant and the tailings ponds are all located very close to rivers, lakes and wetlands in several watersheds of critical importance to the two Algonquin First Nations.
The proposed Matamec Project is an open pit operation to extract and process heavy rare earth elements and our concern is heightened by the fact that there are currently no operating rare earth mines in Canada and there is no government regulatory experience with this kind of mining and processing.
Moreover, on September 24, 2014, during an information session in Wendake between the representatives between the AFNQL-SDI and the BAPE Commissioners, officials from the Quebec Ministry of Environment Quebec confirmed their department considers that Rare Earth Elements are the same as uranium.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information: Mélanie Vincent, [email protected], Cell.: 418-580-4442