Natives block airstrips in Ring of Fire

First Nation groups in the James Bay Lowlands have set up blockades on two ice airstrips to stop exploration companies from working.

The Matawa First Nation and the Marten Falls First Nation are concerned about the lack of consultation on development in the area including a 350-km long rail corridor proposed by Canada Chrome and its parent company KWG Resources (KWG-V). They also have complaints about how companies in the area are treating the environment.

Cliff’s Natural Resources (CLF-N) is the principal shareholder of KWG, and Cliffs has just acquired Freewest Resources, another exploration company in the area.

Chrome Canada has already staked mineral claims between McFauld’s Lake and the Town of Nakina in northwestern Ontario where the railway would go.

About 10 days ago, 15 protestors from Marten Falls pitched tents at the Kopper Lake air strip near Noront Resources‘ (NOT-V) project and the McFaults Lake air strip near Freewest’s project as a logistics blockade.

Most of the protestors are back but the blockade is still on. The groups have been in talks since shortly after the protest and some progress is being made, according to Paul Achneepineskum of Marten Falls.

Noront has had to stop its exploration program but says that it supports the protest, noting that the groups do not have a problem with Noront.



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