ONTARIO – The ATTAWAPISKAT FIRST NATION (AFN), located on the shores of James Bay, has denounced current exploration work by METALEX VENTURES on its projects in Attawapiskat First Nation territory, including the T1 project. In a Feb. 14 news release, the First Nation alerted the company’s shareholders and potential investors that the work Metalex is undertaking is being done without the involvement or agreement of the AFN.
In the news release Chief Mike Carpenter commented, “Our First Nation has demonstrated in the Victor diamond project [owned by De Beers] that where our interests are accommodated, we are supportive partners. Where we are ignored as Metalex Ventures is doing, we will not go away quietly. These are our traditional lands and investors should be very cautious knowing that the First Nations interests have not been accommodated in this project.”
When interviewed, Carpenter said that Metalex had spoken with AFN last year, but the two sides did not come to an agreement. The First Nation is currently talking with the ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT & MINES about guidelines for First Nations consultation. Until those talks are concluded, he does not want the ministry issuing any more work permits to Metalex. “Attawapiskat doesn’t have much of an economy, except our work with De Beers on the Victor project, so we want to get all the benefits we can,” he said.
Chief Carpenter may be contacted at 705-997-2166.