Departments, Portfolios and Affiliates

Mining

Minister: Jean Desrosiers

The mining industry is Manitoba's second largest primary resource industry and produced approximately $1.84 billion in direct revenue in 2011. Mineral exploration and mine development can provide training and employment opportunities for our Metis people and give us a means to provide for our families. The mining sector can, however, significantly impact the land, air and water used by our Metis people. It is therefore important that we voice our concerns and are able to give input into how minerals are extracted from the land.

Minago Mine Project

The federal and/or provincial governments are constitutionally mandated to consult the Metis when making decisions that may impact our Aboriginal rights. Mining activities have the potential to affect water quality, erode and contaminate soil, and disturb animal habitat and migration routes. Mining can therefore adversely impact how the Metis people hunt, fish, and harvest animals, berries, medicinal plants, or firewood. It is important that our Metis people understand proposed mining projects and their wider, short- and long-term environmental implications. It is also important that we can provide input and voice our concerns regarding proposed projects.

The Consultation process between the Metis and the Crown regarding the Minago Mine Project continues to be incomplete. Victory Nickel, the project proponent, has failed to offer a process of respect, open communication, and cooperation with the local Metis people in Thompson and The Pas regions. Despite this, the province has granted an Environmental License to Victory Nickel to allow the proponent to start developing the mine for production.

Ruttan Mine Reclamation

The Ministry of Innovation, Energy, and Mines has provided the MMF with a preliminary contracting plan that outlines work packages for the clean-up of the Ruttan Mine near Leaf Rapids. The planned clean-up activities include renovations of the former Hoist Building to house a new water treatment plant, the building of a clay core, rock covered dam to control the flow of Ruttan Lake water into the Open Pit, and the construction of a power line from the existing Manitoba Hydro line to the planned water treatment plant. These activities may be able to provide employment opportunities for our Metis people but also have the potential to impact local harvesting activities.

The MMF and Natural Resources staff met with the Mines Branch to obtain more information on the project. The MMF, along with MEDO, an on-site pre-tender meeting to better understand the project and meet interested contractors for economic development and employment opportunities for our Metis people.

If you have any questions about the Manitoba Metis community and mining, or you have an idea for a project, please call Tiffany Monkman at 204-586-8474 ext. 225 or email tiffany.monkman@mmf.mb.ca.