Weighing in on Fandora mine in wake of Mt. Polley mess

Imperial Metals, the owner-operator of Mount Polley also owns two properties in Clayoquot Sound; the Catface copper deposit on Ahousaht territory and the Fandora gold formation in Tla-o-qui-aht territory. The

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations whose traditional territory covers the southern portion of Clayoquot Sound seek a mining ban before mining activities begin on their traditional territories.

“Our Hawiih (Hereditary Chiefs) are not just fighting mining for ourselves and our territory, but see ourselves as stewards of the territory for their Muschim (citizens) and all the people who live here – both the First-Nation and non-First Nations people here are working hard to build a sustainable economy, and continue to develop tourism. A mine is not in anyone’s best interest. Since the recent Tsilhqot’in victory at the Supreme Court of Canada, and the victory of our five Nu-chah-nulth First Nations earlier this year, recognizing the right to a commercial fishery, our Hawiih certainly don’t intend to let Imperial Metals, or any company they may sell their rights to, come here and do any mining activity.”

-Elmer Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht Elected councillor.

+++ “In light of the recent Imperial Metals Mount Polly environmental catastrophe with the breach of its tailing pond, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations remains steadfast in our Hereditary chief’s opposition to such irresponsible resource management by both industry and government. The Tla-o-qui-aht peoples and our supporters are committed to preventing Imperial Metals from doing any mining exploration and activities within Onadsilth-Eelseuklis, otherwise known as Fandora, in Tranquil Valley.” -Terry Dorward, Tla-o-qui-aht elected councillor.

We stand by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations in this. this spill just exhibits how short-sighted our current mining regime is, and how poorly it fits with Clayoquot Sound. Can you imagine Imperial managing a tailings pond in an area that gets over three meters of rain every year? We need a mining ban here and will work until we have one.

Emery Hartley is a campaigner with Friends of Clayoquot Sound.