The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) is sounding off concerns on Amarc Resources recent application for additional exploration within the Upper Taseko watershed for their Ike project, as well as a recently approved 5 year permit to drill 50 additional holes.
Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in, says that the project currently lies within the Dasiqox Tribal Park and in high-value wilderness habitat.
“This is much like the same as Taseko Mines Limited-the Prosperity Mine. We’d been dealing with that for over 25 years; we went through 2 panel hearings-federal panel hearings. A lot of questions haven’t been answered, a lot of outstanding issues.”
William says that they’re calling on the Province, Amarc, and Amarc’s new investor, Thompson Creek Metals Company to show real leadership and accept the offer to look elsewhere for mineral exploration, stopping all planned drilling and development of IP lines for the the project.
Amarc Resources Executive Vice President Jason Quigley, says although the discussions to date have been wide ranging and varied, many of the negotiations are captured under a confidentiality agreement.
He says it’s important to recognize that it’s a very early stage project.
“We’re talking about early stage mineral exploration. It’s being advanced in an environmentally friendly manner-there is no environmental harm. The area that we’re drilling is largely above tree line and there are no impacts to the environment.”
Amarc has currently drilled 18 holes over the past two years, and plans on an additional 50 over the next five years with drilling to commence this summer.
“We understand that the BC Government and the Tsilhqot’in are involved in high level negotiations and planning about economic development in the region and we’ve been told by B.C that economic development can continue during these negotiations.”
Amarc, according to Quigley is surprised by the TNG’s media release issued Thursday. He says that Amarc has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure consultation with the TNG and other First Nations.