Tahtlan Voice Displeasure Over Red Chris Mine Project
Information leaflets given to motorists on Highway 37 near Iskut
It wasn't a blockade -- but instead more like an information picket, as members of the Tahltan showed their opposition to the Red Chris Mine development near Iskut.
Spokesperson Tina Wright says the Tahltan are alarmed over plans by Imperial Metals for the open-pit copper and gold mine. And she says members of the first nation set up along Highway 37 south of Iskut Thursday, to let passing motorists know about their concerns.
"Nothing on a large scale -- it was two of the grandmothers (Kukdookaa and Adanza’a) who wanted to get out a quick little information page to passersby," explained Wright, adding "it was very short, it was about an hour-and-a-half, and we spoke with several truck drivers, RVers, hunters, and just passed along our concerns and our message."
Wright says more information pickets may be held in the future -- and the Tahltan haven't ruled out a blockade of Highway 37 if their concerns are not addressed.
In May, the province granted Imperial Metals a construction-approval permit, and the company promised to establish a special monitoring committee to allow everyone a chance to address environmental concerns.
However, the Tahltan say the company's plans fail to adequately protect waterways in the area, saying the proposal would transform part of the Klappan Valley into a vast tailings pond. And they accused the Clark Government of giving mining companies free rein to leave the environment vulnerable to contamination and disruption.