Since I wrote about my trip to De Beers’ Victor diamond mine in northern Ontario last week, we heard from Suzanne Barnes, director of lands and resources for the Attawapiskat First Nation. She wrote, “Thank you for that article. I’ve tried to tell people what you’ve just said in that article, and it always seems to fall on deaf ears. I’m glad to hear you say it to a wider audience. I look forward to seeing your longer article in January 2009.”
But not all companies can meet the high standards set by De Beers.
Economic geologist, R.J. Bradshaw, now of Meaford, Ont., noted, “You congratulate DeBeers Canada for their big time effort to satisfy and accommodate the demands of the local Indian [sic] groups. However, you don’t seem to understand that there are only a half dozen or so companies in the world that have the financial and legal resources to satisfy these very demanding conditions. Certainly, there is no junior resource company that can satisfy these requirements.
“DeBeers so-called commendable efforts make it that much more difficult for a junior. They cannot meet the standards set by DeBeers and expected by the Indians. The result in my experience, is that approaches or suggestions by a junior to an Indian group are ignored or disrespected.”