Avanti Mining Inc. (TSXV:AVT) through its wholly owned subsidiary Avanti Kitsault Mine Ltd., received notice of a petition filed by the Nisga’a Nation, and plans to oppose it. The petition challenges the decision made by the BC Environmental Assessment Office that granted an Environmental Assessment Certificate to the Kitsault Mine Project.
As quoted in the press release:
On March 18, 2013 Avanti was granted an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the Province of British Columbia for the Kitsault Mine. A federal environmental assessment decision is pending. The Nisga’a Nation has filed a petition with the BC Supreme Court against the ministers of Environment, Energy Mines and Natural Gas and the British Columbia government.
Avanti Mining Inc. President and CEO, Craig Nelsen, said:
This action taken by the Nisga’a Nation is disappointing. However we are confident that the Province’s EA process is robust and that all environmental and human health issues have been thoroughly addressed — years of assessment and thousands of pages tell us so. While legally exempt from the BC Environmental Assessment process due to its pre-existing mine permit, Avanti voluntarily opted in because of the strong track record of EAO addressing aboriginal and treaty rights. We believe this project can offer tremendous training and employment opportunities for Nisga’a citizens and others, and we are committed to moving forward with this. We have full confidence in the BC environmental assessment process. The courts have repeatedly found it sufficient to meet the Crown’s duty to aboriginal groups and no decision of the Environmental Assessment Office has ever ultimately been overturned by the courts.