Naskapi land defender Napess Vollant: “If we lose this fight, we lose everything”

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Photo: Naskapi land defender Napess Vollant says: “I am ready to get arrested for it and a lot of my friends are as well.” Photo by Delphine Jung/Radio-Canada.

CBC reports that the mining company Century Global wants to set up an open-pit mine in Labrador that would extract 2.5 million tonnes of iron annually.

The company would also drain Lake Joyce (but promises to refill it in the last two years of the seven year production length).

Century Global Commodities Corporation is headquartered in Hong Kong and trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Its office in Toronto operates its mining projects in Canada.

Along with the mine, the company would build a transportation corridor to move the material to the port city of Sept-Îles on the Saint Lawrence River.

In its project summary, the company says: “Products transported over a 43km dedicated haul road from the mine site to a new rail siding near Astray Lake, which connects to an existing rail-line for transport to the Port of Sept-Îles Multi-User port at Pointe Noire, for shipment to China and other world markets.”

The article continues: “Napess Vollant, who is a member of the Naskapi Nation of  Kawawachikamach — located about 1,100 kilometres from Montreal —says the project would ruin Lake Joyce and its surrounding area. It’s a traditional hunting and fishing ground. Vollant says he won’t let anything happen to it.”

The article also quotes Shane Vollant, who is both Innu and Naskapi, who says: “I don’t want a mine even if we’re promised work. We are the only Naskapis in the world and we only have one territory, we can’t let it go.”

And the article notes: “Last July, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada gave Century Global a three-year extension to provide the studies needed for the project to be formally reviewed and, possibly, approved.”

The full article can be read at ‘If we lose this fight, we lose everything’: Naskapi, Innu nations oppose Quebec mining project.

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