ONTARIO – After what has been a pitched battle between Torontos PLATINEX INC. and the KITCHENUHMAYKOOSIB INNINWUG FIRST NATION (KI), the Ontario Superior Court has sided with Platinex and said it may proceed with exploration drilling at its Big Trout Lake PGE deposit near Kenora.
The disagreement stemmed from a land claims dispute. The KI imposed an exploration moratorium on their land in the fall of 2005 and interfered with Platinexs access to the claims in question. Platinex sued KI for $10 billion (with a big B). In July 2006, the Court ordered the two to establish a consultation committee to work out their differences. The committee was also to have had representation from the Ontario government. Nothing happened. In April 2007, KI went back to court seeking an injunction to stop Platinex, but KIs motion was dismissed.
On May 22 the Court granted Platinex the right to begin a 24-hole program at Big Trout Lake. The Court also imposed its own rules for consultation and a timetable on the parties involved. Among the proposals is that KI be given 500,000 Platinex shares and/or a seat on the Platinex board of directors. Another possibility is the creation of a benefit fund for KI equal to 2% of Platinexs exploration spending at Big Trout Lake.
The decision of the Court is posted at www.platinex.com/docs/CourtDecision20070522.pdf.