NEW YORK Avanti Mining Inc. says it has taken
extraordinary and unprecedented steps to ensure
that its Kitsault molybdenum mine in British Columbia will meet
the requirements of the Nisgaa Treaty, despite the
initiation of dispute resolution by the Nisgaa Lisims
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said March 15 it
remains confident that the environmental assessment (EA)
process for the Kitsault Mine has been thoroughly and properly
conducted and expects a decision from the provincial government
in the days ahead. The project was recently referred to the
British Columbia government for consideration to approve an EA
certificate in what Avanti described as a milestone
for the project (
amm.com, March 5
The company added that nothing in the Nisgaa Treaty
or provincial legislation prevents ministers from making their
decision at this time on the basis that the Nisgaa have
initiated dispute resolution.
The amount of work that we have done to ensure the
Nisgaa Treaty requirements have been met has been
extraordinary and unprecedented, and the government has already
gone well past the statutory time frames, Avanti
president Craig Nelsen said in a statement.
One analyst said Nisgaa Lisims dispute resolution
initiation could potentially hold up the project.
When these First Nation organizations get involved, they
have a history of success in slowing things down, he
He added that the situation was complicated by the impending
British Columbia provincial election in May, which he said
might have had a bearing on the timing of the dispute.
Its already gone through the public consultation
process. I think Avanti is trying to remind the government that
the decision is in their hands, and that they have to make
their decision based on the technical merits of the application
and ignore any political background noise, he said.
The biggest concern is still project financing, he
added. Theyll get the permits ultimately, but
its difficult to get big project interest when the moly
price is so weak.
Canned molybdic oxide (canned) is currently trading in a range
of $11 to $11.30 per pound.
The Kitsault Mine is expected to produce 374 million pounds of
molybdenum over 16 years. Construction is scheduled to take 25
months once approval is received.
The Nisgaa Lisims Government could not be reached for