NEW YORK Avanti Mining Inc. said it will oppose a petition filed by the Nisgaa Nation that challenges a decision by the British Columbia government to grant an environmental assessment certificate to the Kitsault molybdenum mine project.
The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company was awarded the environmental assessment certificate for its Kitsault mine in March despite an objection from the Nisgaa Nation (amm.com, March 20
). The First Nations organization is now filing a lawsuit against the provincial government in British Columbia Supreme Court.
The Nisgaa Nation alleges that British Columbia issued the certificate for the Kitsault Mine despite the fact the treaty dispute resolution process is mandatory, and despite the fact the deficiencies with respect to the assessment of the project had still not been addressed, the Nisgaa Nation said.
Avanti described the action as disappointing, but expressed confidence that all environmental and human health issues have been sufficiently addressed as part of the assessment process.
We have full confidence in the BC environmental assessment process. The courts have repeatedly found it sufficient to meet the Crowns duty to aboriginal groups and no decision of the Environmental Assessment Office has ever ultimately been overturned by the courts, Avanti president and chief executive officer Craig J. Nelsen said in a statement.
A federal environmental assessment decision on the Kitsault project is pending.
Avanti recently signed an offtake agreement with ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products GmbH for 50 percent of the total molybdenum production from the Kitsault project (amm.com, June 21