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Tsilhqot’in National Government calls for halt on mining exploration west of Williams Lake

Chiefs demand consultation prior to further exploration in Scum Lake area
On the road to Nemiah Valley, west of Williams Lake, a log gateway marks the entrance to Tsilhqot’in Title Lands. (Angie Mindus file photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) is calling for a halt to mining exploration operations by Carlyle Commodities until the company board of directors meet with local First Nations.

The Newton Gold Silver Project, a drilling exploration project, is located at Newton Mountain, next to Tsintŝanŝ (Scum Lake), and has reportedly had equipment moving in to resume operations in the area, where work had been dormant for a number of years.

The project was previously owned by Amarc Resources Ltd., which Chief Joe Alphonse, chair of TNG, said had a working relationship with both caretaker First Nations for the project Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah) and Yunesit’in (Stone).

Yet despite TNG having reached out to now-owners Carlyle Commodities, they have not yet responded to requests for meetings said Alphonse, which he said is an “absolute sign of disrespect.”

“That cowboy-style approach of pushing projects through is long gone,” said Alphonse. Black Press Media reached out to Carlyel Commodities Ltd. for a response as well but at time of writing had not yet had a reply.

Alphonse said TNG is open to working with the company, but first wants to have their voices heard and an agreement in place.

He said TNG has already been to the Supreme Court of Canada, where they were awarded Aboriginal title over their traditional territory, and if Carlyle does not want to meet over the negotiation table, they can instead meet in the court room.

“We didn’t spend the financial resources and people resources to get the the Supreme Court of Canada just to get treated like this,” he said.

In June of 2022, the province approved a five-year drilling permit for Carlyle Commodities Ltd. at the Newton Gold Silver Project.

Read more: Tsilhqot’in challenge of Gibraltar Mines discharge permit to continue next month

Read more: Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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