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Can Nechako River be saved without killing industry? – Business In Vancouver

Sometime in the spring of 2022, several Nechako River First Nations hope the BC Supreme Court will rule in their favour in a lawsuit against Rio Tinto Alcan Inc. that would address their concerns about the health of the river.

But they are also hoping for a compromise that would restore river flows to the Nechako without having to remove the Kenney Dam and shut down Rio Tinto’s BC Works aluminum smelter in Kitimat.

Chief Priscilla Mueller of the Saik’uz First Nation said Rio Tinto has lately shown some willingness to listen to the concerns of First Nations, which are focused mainly on the negative impact the dam and low river flows have had on salmon and sturgeon.

“We’ve never had a relationship with Rio Tinto, and I really believe now that we’re building a relationship,” Mueller said. “They’ve been out to our Nechako First Nations communities and those meetings were positive.”

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