The Red Sucker Lake First Nation presented a stop-work order and eviction notice over the weekend to a mineral-exploration company that reserve officials say is operating illegally in its traditional territory.
Mega Precious Metals, a mineral-exploration company based in Thunder Bay, has been drilling and developing a potential gold mine for a few years at Monument Bay, about 60 kilometres northeast of Red Sucker Lake First Nation.
Red Sucker Lake is about 700 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg.
A spokesman for the band said action was taken now because new permits were issued recently without appropriate consultation with the band.
"The permits and licences granted to Mega Precious Metals Inc. are unlawful due to the absence of adequate consultation and accommodation," says a statement from the band.
A spokesman for the band said there has been no violence or aggressive action related to the eviction notice.
The mining company has a 30- to 40-person camp at the exploration site but it’s not clear at this point how many people are currently at the camp.
Fred Harper, a spokesperson for Red Sucker Lake First Nation, said company officials at Monument Bay were not objecting to the order and indicated that an orderly eviction was likely. He also said that the band believes an adequate resolution to the dispute continues to be possible.
Executives from Mega Precious Metals’ head office have not yet responded to the action.