Nearly three weeks after the winter road opened for the season, a roadblock to the De Beers mine near Attawapiskat continues.

A handful of people from the Attawapiskat First Nation have been intermittently blocking the winter road to the diamond mine near the community.


De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby. (Megan Thomas/CBC)

De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby said despite a court order to remove the blockade, protesters remain.

"It seems that each time there's a blockade, it's an individual or two with very specific individual issues," he said.

"And you know, we have previous agreements and arrangements and understandings in place that we were supposed to access that road based on the relationship and partnership we have and we've not had that consistency."

Ormsby said officials in a Timmins court were to hear an update on police efforts on Friday.

Provincial police said officers are hoping the court will clarify what exact action police should take. 


Members of the Attawapiskat First Nation continue to block a temporary road to the De Beers diamond mine in northern Ontario. A court has granted an injunction for the blockade to end. (


In the meantime, Constable Marc Depatie said officers are on site talking with protesters.

"We're just in a holding pattern for the time being," he said.

"We're always hopeful that a peaceful resolution can come about."

Ormsby said the temporary road has been blocked to supply shipments for almost 16 of the 20 days it's been open for the season.

The company hasn't ruled out the possibility of having to suspend operations at the mine — which could affect work for about 500 people.