Attawapiskat blockade may force De Beers to close mine
Diamond miner says it is still waiting for action on court-ordered injunction
Posted: Feb 19, 2013 2:57 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 19, 2013 5:24 PM ET
Despite what was called a "successful" meeting with protestors and a court injunction issued Friday, a road block on the winter road to the De Beers diamond mine near Attawapiskat continues.
De Beers said if it continues, it may consider temporarily shutting down the operation.De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby (CBC)
Mine access has been blocked intermittently by a handful of protesters — members of the Attawapiskat band — at several points this month. Some of those people say they have concerns about the community not benefitting enough from the mine.
“These have not been ... community initiatives,” De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby said. “They've been individually driven by individual agendas or individual concerns or claims.”
Because the winter road has a limited lifespan and it's not possible to ship some supplies by air, De Beers might have to simply lock the front gate.
“If we do not get our supplies in, all things are on the table, including a possible closure,” Ormsby added.
Ormsby said the company is still waiting on the court injunction to be acted upon to disband protesters and re-open the road to the Victor Mine.Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says the First Nation is in ongoing meetings with De Beers to help end the blockade of the road to the company's diamond mine. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Meanwhile, the chief of the Attawapiskat First Nation said she hopes a community meeting Tuesday afternoon will help end the blockade.
Chief Theresa Spence said she and council have been in talks with De Beers, as well as with the people involved in the blockade.
"We're looking at everything,” she said. “Chief and council, at the end of the day, they're the ones who are going to be sitting down with De Beers. In the meantime, we're listening to the blockaders concerns and putting everything on paper."
Spence said more meetings are scheduled.
Attawapiskat signed an Impact Benefit Agreement with De Beers in 2005, but some band members want to revisit that agreement.
The Victor mine will soon mark five years of production — roughly the halfway point in the projected lifespan of the mine.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Male pedestrian dies in New Sudbury truck crash
- One man is dead after being struck by a truck in New Sudbury. more »
- Michipicoten River watershed under flood warning
- The Ministry of Natural Resources issued a flood warning Tuesday afternoon for the Michipicoten River watershed, near White River and Wawa. more »
- Sudburians gathering input on ideal bicycle stands
- The City of Greater Sudbury is searching for the perfect bike rack. more »
- Noëlville pedestrian dies following weekend collision
- A 47-year-old man from southern Ontario has been charged with careless driving after provincial police say he hit a 79-year-old woman with his vehicle. more »
Top News Headlines
- Senate debates expense audits amid greater scrutiny
- The expenses scandal is dominating the first Senate session since the audits on senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau were released and it was revealed Duffy's questionable expenses were repaid by a personal cheque from the prime minister's chief of staff. Follow our live blog. more »
- Kids from levelled Oklahoma schools recount deadly tornado
- Children from two Oklahoma schools levelled Monday by a powerful tornado are recounting what it was like to survive the "loud" and "scary" twister, while rescuers near the end of their search for any other remaining survivors or bodies. more »
- Deadly Oklahoma tornado confirmed as most powerful type
- Emergency workers neared the end of their search Tuesday afternoon for survivors in Moore, Okla., following a deadly tornado that weather officials said was now classified among the most powerful type of twister. more »
- Only 1 set of human remains found at Millard farm, police say
- Hamilton police have confirmed that they are dealing with only a single set of human remains at the Waterloo region farm of Dellen Millard. more »
- Rob Ford faces more calls to address crack allegations
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford went back to work after a holiday weekend, but he kept his mouth shut about an alleged video that two published reports say shows him smoking what appears to be a crack pipe. more »