An eviction notice and stop-work order issued by a northern Manitoba First Nation against a mineral exploration company has been countered by a court-ordered temporary injunction on behalf of the company allowing it to continue to operate.
The spat between Red Sucker Lake First Nation and Mega Precious Metals Inc. broke out suddenly this week after more than two years of apparent cooperation between the two.
However frustration from the First Nation at what some say was the lack of jobs or training opportunities and growing environmental concerns prompted the chief and council to terminate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mega, one of only three such agreements that have ever been negotiated in the province.
In its first public statement since it received the eviction notice on Monday, company CEO, Glen Kuntz said, "Mega believes the company has, and continues to, demonstrate our respect for Red Sucker Lake First Nations’ treaty rights. Mega plans to continue to meet with community members and provide project updates on a regular basis in an effort to maintain our social license to operate."
Mega Precious Metals is in the process of proving up a gold reserve called Monument Bay in a location about 60 kilometres north of Red Sucker Lake which is within the band’s traditional area.
In a press release last month, Kuntz said Monument Bay has the potential "to become Canada’s next great gold mine."
Red Sucker Lake is about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
The injunction is valid until July 11.