Attawapiskat | In the News
Attawapiskat First Nation versus De Beers Diamond Mine

Originally published in The Bullet

2 October 2020

De Beers Canada (DBC) is seeking Ontario Government approval for a third landfill waste site to be built and filled up at the Victor Mine Site, located in a vulnerable James Bay wetlands area, and in a place of critical importance to Attawapiskat.

The Victor Mine is now in the closure phase, where decommissioning and remediation are supposed to leave the landscape in a clean and safe state. The mine operated from 2005 to 2019 and with an annual production rate is 2.7 million tonnes a year, or about 600,000 carats a year in diamond grade.

Much of the diamond mine waste that DBC would deposit into such landfill, is reusable and salvageable. Over half of the proposed landfill waste will be powerline infrastructure which has significant value, together with steel, pipe and wood products that can be re-used or recycled. “De Beers could and should be transporting that waste through the winter road it has maintained for the last many years, to markets and facilities south of us, where it can be treated and reused,” says Attawapiskat Chief David Nakogee. “We’re talking about 100,000 cubic metres of material that could be reused or recycled. De Beers unilaterally cancelled the contract for the winter road project because they said they don’t need it. Of course they don’t need it when they have the alternative of turning our lands into their garbage dump instead of building a winter road.”

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