Federal-provincial panel opposes transforming Amazay into a tailings pond

It appears that a joint federal-provincial panel may have saved Amazay, also known as Duncan Lake, in north-central B.C.

Last October, Georgia Straight contributor Andrew Findlay wrote a feature article, "Who will save Amazay?", highlighting the controversy.

This week, the panel rejected a mining company's proposal to store tailings in Duncan Lake, which is known as Amazay, or "Little Mother", to Natives in the area.

Today, the Tse Keh Nay First Nations issued a news release praising the panel for recommending against "turning Amazay Lake into a mining waste dump".

Findlay's article reported that Northgate Minerals Corporation hopes to extend the life of the Kemess South copper and gold mine by 11 years by developing another ore body known as Kemess North.

The only economic way of doing this, Findlay reported, was by using Amazay as a tailings pond. Thiswas vociferously opposed by local Natives, including Grand Chief Edward John of First Nations Summit.

The joint federal-provincial panel was announced by then-environment minister Stephane Dion in March, 2005 at the request of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

The panel's recommendations will go to federal Environment Minister John Baird and to B.C. Environment Minister Barry Penner.