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North Coast First Nation appeals Supreme Court decision on mining permits – The Free Press

The North Coast Nation is appealing part of a ruling that allows existing mineral claims to continue

The Gitxaała First Nation has appealed a B.C. Supreme Court decision after their attempts to quash mining projects on their territory and enforce UN recommendations were rejected on Sept. 26.

While the B.C. Chief Gold Commissioner was ordered to overhaul its online mineral tenure system to ensure consultation with First Nations was mandatory, the decision does not affect the several prospective projects on Gitxaała territory which the Nation was not consulted on.

Supreme Court Justice Alan Ross’s ruling also does not prevent mining prospectors from obtaining permits on Gitxaała territory for the next 18 months while the province changes its permit system, another aspect of the ruling the Nation is appealing.

Though the First Nation lauded the decision to force the province to change its mining permit system, they argue the 18 months the judge gave the province to fix the system leaves them vulnerable to more unconsulted mining projects.

“Our case was an important win that confirmed BC’s automatic mineral claim regime breaches our constitutional rights, but the Court has allowed the harm in our territory to continue,” said Gitxaała Sm’ooygit Nees Hiwaas (Matthew Hill).

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