Magazine article New Internationalist

Mine Shafted

Magazine article New Internationalist

Mine Shafted

Article excerpt

An indigenous group in Canada blockaded the road to a nearly completed mine, defied an attempted injunction and severely dis- rupted work for over two weeks in October. The group from the Tahltan First Nation, known as Klabona Keepers, was led by elders who lit a sacred fire on the Red Chris Mine's access road.

The blockade was a response to the catastrophic collapse of a tailings dam at Imperial Metal's Mount Policy gold and copper mine in British Columbia. In one of Canada's worst ever environmental disasters, 15 million cubic metres of waste water and toxic slurry rushed through the surrounding area, killing wildlife and contaminating waterways and land with arsenic and mercury.

Now Imperial Metals is trying to open a new mine nearby, and First Nations fear another devastating breach. 'We were angry. We were assured that these tailings storage facilities were safe, again and again. …

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