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January 19, 2023
Williams Lake, B.C.: The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is calling for Carlyle Commodities to halt its diamond drilling program at the Newton Gold Silver Project until a meeting is held between Tŝilhqot’in leadership and the Carlyle Board of Directors.
The Newton Gold Silver Project, located within the Tŝilhqot’in territory, is opposed by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and caretaker communities of Yuneŝit’in Government and Xeni Gwet’in. British Columbia approved a five-year drilling permit in June 2022 and Carlyle has started to mobilize its operations, all without Tŝilhqot’in consent and in direct contravention of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Remarkably, Carlyle made no effort to meet with the Tŝilhqot’in prior to submitting its application for the drilling program and Carlyle’s Board and executive has not met to date with Tŝilhqot’in leadership, despite requests.
The Newton Gold Silver Project, previously owned by Amarc Resources Ltd., is currently in Phase 1 of its exploration program. The project is located near the proven Tŝilhqot’in Title area at Newton Mountain, beside Tsintŝanŝ (Scum Lake), in the Chilcotin region of B.C.
The Tŝilhqot’in National Government is the governing body for the Tŝilhqot’in people. The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is comprised of six communities located throughout the Tŝilhqot’in (Chilcotin) territory and is the only Nation in Canada with a court declaration of Aboriginal title (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia).
Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, O.B.C, LL.D. (hon.). Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government
“Once again, a mining company is coming into the Tŝilhqot’in territory and is disrespecting Tŝilhqot’in rights and title. Carlyle Commodities has stated that the Newton Gold Silver Project is in a `mining friendly region’ without building any relationship with the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. Anyone invested in this project should be very cautious of the path that Carlyle is charting. It is unacceptable and in direct contravention of UNDRIP to proceed with the exploration program at the Newton Gold Silver Project.
We are calling for a halt to all exploration at this site until an accommodation that is deemed satisfactory to the Tŝilhqot’in has been reached between us and the Carlyle Board and Senior Executives.”
Nits’ilʔin Jimmy Lulua, Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government
“BC says that it is committed to UNDRIP, but this is business as usual. This is worse than business as usual – this mining company didn’t even talk to our community before it submitted its drilling application, contrary to BC’s own policy, and it still walked away with an approval for 5 years of drilling. We are trying to find a better way forward with B.C., yet B.C.’s actions do not honour their words. Carlyle has started operations in our territory without the basic respect of a meeting between our leadership. This is unacceptable in 2023. We can no longer be treated like second-class citizens in our own home. We are calling on Carlyle to do the right thing, halt their operations, and show some respect for the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Indigenous peoples.”
Nits’ilʔin Lennon Solomon, Yuneŝit’in Government
“Carlyle does not have consent for this drilling program in our territory. Our people have relied on that area for generations and it is rich in archaeological sites and recorded traditional use. It is used to this day as a hunting ground for our members. We need to move past this colonial era of mining companies and the government thinking they can simply move into our territories and take whatever they want, without the consent of our people, without even meeting with us as leaders, and without any benefit to our communities. This is the type of behaviour that gives the mining industry a black eye within our Nation. We have called for meetings with Carlyle and with the Minister of Energy and Mines to try to avoid this conflict before it escalates any further.”
Tŝilhqot’in National Government
(250) 302-3731 (e) [email protected]
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