The Tsilhqot’in National Government is issuing a notice to Amarc Resources Ltd. to cease its Ike mineral exploration mining project operations for 2015 within the Dasiqox Tribal Park, Tsilhqot’ in territory.
In a press release Wednesday, the TNG says the Province of British Columbia granted Amarc Resources a permit to conduct mining exploration in sensitive mountainous terrain despite the strong objections of the affected Tsilhqot’in communities.
Chief Roger William says Amarc has met with their communities to present an Exploration Agreement in a time frame that is not appropriate and adds that if Amarc wants to be successful in gaining the consent, they need to respect their community processes and work with them in a way that suits not only the minimum requirements of the BC permitting process but also their needs.
He says at this moment in time, the Tsilhqot’in National Government will turn down any mining practices in sensitive areas such as the Dasiqox headwaters, which they consider a “no-go” zone.
The exploration area, according to the TNG is a high-value wilderness habitat for species such as grizzly bear and mule deer. It is also the headwaters and source of the Taseko River which flows into the Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser River systems.
“As a leader looking at a project such as “Ike” and attempting to foresee it’s future – it is located in volatile weather patterns and at high altitude, it is adjacent to a glacial fed stream that flows to a series of glacial streams that connect with the larger Dasiqox Watershed,” said Chief Russell Myers Ross.
“Knowing that this is a prime location for grizzlies and that for a mine to be developed a road must eventually be carved through the mountain, disturbing the corridor for grizzly habitat – it’s too risky to try to situate a mine in this sensitive area.”
Amarc has completed an initial nine diamond drill holes, totalling 5,400 metres according to their website.
They say they recognize that the limited historical drilling at IKE indicated the potential for a mineral system with characteristics that are favorable for the development of a viable porphyry copper-molybdenum-silver deposit.
Amarc was planning an expanded drill program at IKE in 2015 with the goal of fully delineating the copper-molybdenum-silver deposit.
“Amarc ought to consider, that from our perspective, this area is an impossible site for a full-scale open-pit mine,” Ross said.
“The company should be honest and stop wasting people’s time and money by pretending there is the potential of a future mine.”