De Beers wants Attawapiskat blockade injunction
DeBeers officials were to be in court Friday in an effort to end a road block to the Victor mine near Attawapiskat
DeBeers is taking legal action in an effort to end a road block to its diamond mine in northern Ontario.
The company has served blockaders with papers informing them of the legal action, said Tom Orsmby, director of external and corporate affairs with De Beers.
The company was to go to court Friday to request an injunction. Ormsby said the people involved in the blockade are named in the application.
The legal action follows a community meeting Thursday with the protestors and band council. Ormsby said De Beers informed everyone in attendance it would pursue legal options if the road block remained.
"To date, we have lost all or part of 10 days for our critical re-supply program for our Victor Mine," Ormsby said in an e-mail to CBC News.
"A prolonged disruption to the program could jeopardize the health and safety of our employees and the future of the mine."
The current blockade is the second demonstration in just over a week on the winter road between Attawapiskat and the mine.
"There are daily standby costs that we are now accumulating because the crews that are waiting to transport our freight and our fuel still have to be compensated and paid," Ormsby said.
"We still have standby costs for those who are waiting to continue the maintenance of the road. Those are starting to pile up."
Attawapiskat signed an Impact Benefit Agreement with De Beers in 2005, but some band members have raised concerns the community isn't benefitting enough from the mining project.
The Victor mine will soon mark five years of production — roughly the halfway point in the projected lifespan of the mine.
No one at the band office in Attawapiskat was available for comment.