A mineral exploration company says they are aware of the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) asking them to cease their “IKE” mineral operations mining project for 2015.
Amarc Executive Vice President, Jason Quigley spoke with us Wednesday afternoon.
“We heard about the notice through the media,” he says.
“We are aware of the TNG’s position at this time and we’re also aware that over time their position has varied. For instance, they’ve entered exploration agreements with previous companies on the very same property after they’ve been opposed and we’re hopeful that over time the same is possible with IKE.”
Quigley says the IKE project is 50 miles away from the TNG Land Title Area and is in a very early stage of an exploration process which can be many years, if not decades, in length to come to the answer on whether if a mine is possible.
“It’s high elevation. We’re taking an approach that’s very environmentally and socially responsible-there won’t be any environmental impact whatsoever,” he says.
“We’ve been fully permitted by the government to take this work and most importantly we’ve reached out to the TNG and to offer them very substantial benefits including ownership and the project, participation on the board of directors, shared decision making-we’ve essentially offered them a new way of doing business.”
He says Amarc began drilling in July 2014 and has drilled nine holes.
He says they started drilling this season on Sept. 7 and expect to be in the field for a few more weeks.
The TNG issued a press release Wednesday morning and said Amarc is violating the consent of the Tsilhqot’in Nation and that the project is within Dasiqox Tribal Park as well as high-value wilderness habitat.
Amarc, according to Quigley, has a long history of working with the Tsilhqot’in Nation on a previous project-the Newton Project for 5 years with 50% of the company’s team comprised of Tsilhqot’in band members.
He says they are hopeful to do the same here and are continuing to remain open to working constructively and open to agreement possibilities.