ONTARIO — Complaining about the lack of consultation prior to development activities, First Nations groups have blocked two airstrips near McFauld’s Lake in the Ring of Fire. At issue is the planned route of a railway proposed by a subsidiary of KWG Resources in Montreal and Cliffs Natural Resources of Cleveland, OH.
The Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations have blocked two ice airstrips, essentially putting the freeze on winter exploration activities in the area. Spokesman for the First Nations say they want to benefit from the railway and potential new mines in the area, but they fear they will not be able to participate if the railway is routed 80 km away from Marten Falls.
Chief Eli Moonias of the Marten Falls First Nation told The Northern Miner his band was not consulted about the railway which would run through its traditional territory. The proposed railway route would, in his opinion, undermine local planning for a future access road to the James Bay Lowlands that would link up with Attawapiskat (the jumping-off point for diamond mining in the province). The First Nations constructed a winter road to reach the exploration camp, but companies were using the airstrips rather than the road.