Neskonlith Indian Band serves Imperial Metals with eviction notice over Ruddock Creek mine

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      The Neskonlith Indian Band says it's delivered an eviction notice to the company whose Mount Polley mine suffered a tailings pond breach earlier this month.

      Vancouver-based Imperial Metals Corporation owns 50 percent of the Ruddock Creek zinc and lead mine, east of Clearwater, B.C. The other owners of the joint venture are Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. and Itochu Corporation.

      Today (August 14), the Neskonlith distributed the text of the eviction notice:

      TO: RUDDOCK CREEK MINING OPERATION, Imperial Metals (50%), Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (30%) and Itochu Corporation (20%) and all other investors and their shareholders

      YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED THAT THE RUDDOCK CREEK MINING OPERATION IS HEREBY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY EVICTED from Secwepemc Territory and specifically the area set out in the Ruddock Regional Claim map (dated May 12, 2014) which spans over a large area from the North Thompson River Watershed, to the Adams River Watershed and the Sacred headwaters flowing into the Shuswap Lake Watershed, to the Columbia River Watershed. This claim area is located in the core of Secwepemc territory (Secwepemculecw), which is subject to Secwepemc Aboriginal Title. The Ruddock Creek Mining Operation is trespassing on Secwepemc Territory. It threatens some of the most important watersheds and salmon runs in Secwepemc territory, including the Adams River run, the world's largest remaining sockeye salmon, which the Secwepemc People and Indigenous Peoples in the larger Fraser River watershed depend on for their livelihoods and economies. The exploration activities and water discharges from the Ruddock Creek Mining operation have already violated Secwepemc Law and Aboriginal Title and Rights and have proceeded without the consent of the Secwepemc people. Following the Tsilhqot'in Decision which makes it clear that we can establish Title on a territorial basis, it is no longer acceptable for corporations foreign to Secwepemc territory, to seek to access our lands and resources and benefit off them without the prior informed consent of the Sewepemc people and without full remuneration.

      Imperial Metals has failed to properly protect Secwepemc land and waters and our traditional and current uses in Secwepemculecw. The Mount Polley Tailings Pond breach on August 4, 2014 could have been prevented if Imperial Metal had respected and implemented Secwepemc law and environmental regulations. Instead no actions were taken, the tailings pond was over capacity and toxic substances continued to be discharged, resulting in a catastrophic breach. To date the flow out of the breach has still not been stopped. The result are long-term impacts on our Secwepemc lands, waters, and the health of our people. Imperial Metals has significantly impacted the Secwepemc land uses throughout Secwepemculecw and significantly contributed to the cumulative impact load for all Secwepemc people. Imperial Metals cannot be allowed to cause any further impacts in Secwepemculecw.

      As the Yecwiminte r Tmicw, the caretakes of our land and waters, Neskonlith, who is part of the Lake Secwepemc People, has an obligation to protect our land for our future generations. Neskonlith Indian Band cannot permit the Ruddock Creek mining development especially in our Sacred Head Waters that threatens our water and salmon habitat.  Our Elders stated they do not want anything that poisons our water or salmon. Our People made a declaration opposing the Ruddock Creek mine and held water ceremonies to protect our water and salmon. Our Council stands with our Elders and People, we oppose the proposed Ruddock Creek mine by Imperial Metals and hereby evict Imperial Metals from our territory.

      Neskonlith has not signed any agreements with the province or Imperial Metals, we have not provided our consent to the proposed mining development. We assert Secwepemc inherent jurisdiction and Aboriginal Title. Notice is hereby issued to Imperial Metals owners, employees, insurers, and investors that Neskonlith will not provide access to our lands for the Ruddock Creek mining development.  


      DATED: August 14, 2014


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      Aug 14, 2014 at 10:39pm

      To our First Nation's brother and sisters......please use the power you have to protect mother earth and ourselves....please do not sell out when Imperial attempts to pay you off...please....we all need you to put a stop to this insaneness!!!!

      T.T. Lebeaux

      Aug 14, 2014 at 10:58pm

      I don’t want to live in a world where people are allowed to make mistakes!
      I never makes mistakes and anyone who does should be vilified and convicted on the spot regardless of the facts!

      I remember when the Challenger Space shuttle blew up,
      I called for the resignations of all the NASA management,
      but nothing happened...Government Cover-up!
      Every time a BOEING Jet crashes I call for the head of all Boeing management,
      but nothing ever happens..government cover-up again!

      I’m not saying this is as bad as that, with no loss of life or property damage,
      but a lot of trees got knocked down and there’s mud all over that creek!

      Ted Campbell

      Aug 15, 2014 at 7:00am

      T.T. Lebeaux has it right. We should stop the world RIGHT NOW. Everyone should just get off! Enough is enough, we've been pushed too far. No more pipelines, no more gasoline from them, everyone walks everywhere. Can't have bicycles, they are made of metal and metal comes from mines. Mines bad! Won't have stores, they get the good via horrible exhaust-spewing diesel trucks. Stores bad! No computers either, they are made of plastic - that's another name for petroleum products. Stop all progress. Progress bad - uh, hum, gotta come up with something that is good but I have to go now, my cell 'phone is ringing.


      Aug 15, 2014 at 7:55am

      That eviction notice surely will turn heads in the Japanese mining investment world that Mt. Polley/Fukushima style world class industrial environmental disasters are not going to be allowed to be financed by Japan and just stack up one on top of another in proven unsafe cheap and dirty toxic waste containment dams that will stand (until they inevitably fail) as looming threats in the headwaters of vital salmon nurseries.

      Hopefully the native chief's won't use this as a bargaining chip to increase the monetary take (sorry "economic development bonus") when permission for the land to be taken over is provided as has also so sadly been seen in recent news.

      Black Heart

      Aug 15, 2014 at 10:50am

      Imperial is taking on $100 million in new debt.

      Imperial have laid off half the Mt. Polley workforce.
      When will clean-up begin, and who will do it?
      Is Imperial really going to spend that $100 million on a clean-up?
      If they do, by the time they get around to it, won't it be raining like hell?

      Boris Moris

      Aug 15, 2014 at 12:02pm

      Why are there people with the shit for brains mentality of Ezra Levant, and the Harper and Clark caucuses, hanging out at the Georgia Straight comment threads?

      Silly me...I forgot that a right wing spin doctor is trying to become Vancouver's mayor and he needs all the shit for brains/shit where you eat morons to try and distort reality and make environmental destruction palatable.

      To all the morons: We pay taxes so government can look after the public's best interests. The reality with right wing governments is they are stupendously corrupt and only the interests of shady resource extractors and processors, weapons mongerers and junk food and pharma purveyors are important to them. This is criminal behaviour and the reason why the Supreme Court of Canada is finally trying to right these wrongs. Unfortunately these criminal corporations have extensive propaganda reach. AKA: mass media.

      T.T. Lebeaux

      Aug 15, 2014 at 12:58pm

      Boris: You forgot to mention the 'BIG FOOT' cover-up.

      Black Heart

      Aug 15, 2014 at 2:37pm

      From the "British Columbia Newsroom" - Ministry of the Environment. August 15, 2014:

      "The company is required to submit its detailed action plan to MoE by a deadline of end-of-day today. The ministry will then review the plan and will make it public as soon as that work is complete. The company is also required to report weekly on the implementation of action plan measures."

      Black Heart

      Aug 16, 2014 at 9:35am

      If Imperial Metals did submit a clean-up plan to the Ministry of Environment before the deadline at end-of-day August 15, they are keeping pretty quite about it.

      When will they submit a plan? Are they actually going to clean this up? We'll have to wait and see.

      Incidentally, anybody can look at a pre-breach picture of the site on Google Maps. You can even see the situation that led to this advisory:

      "Apr. 18, 2014: The ministry issued an advisory to Mount Polley Mining Corporation for bypass of authorized treatment works. The site experienced high flows due to spring freshet which caused the pump system to become blocked and resulted in an overflow of effluent to the long ditch. Flow did not reach the creek and was directed into Till Borrow Pit."