Mining

Minister: Vincent Parenteau
Associate Minister: Mildred Dorion

Mining and resource development projects play a variety of roles in the lives of our Citizens with many of our Northern Citizens residing in areas where mining has been the primary economic driver and source of employment for many years. The benefits of economic development have allowed for a sense of self-reliance and financial stability for many of our Red River Métis families. However, the mining industry has also led to many negative impacts on our environment, which have affected the health and well-being of our community.

Several new operations are being explored across the province, drawn in by the demand for new resources and products. Unfortunately, the Red River Métis were left out of the First Nations-Manitoba Mining Protocol and as a result, provincial officials and project proponents are not proactively notifying or reaching out to the MMF. Your Métis government will continue to pressure Manitoba to revise the protocol to ensure it includes consideration of the impacts of the industry on our Citizens.

These mining operations pose unique opportunities and challenges. The Mining Portfolio is focused on ensuring our Citizens and harvesters are properly engaged and consulted on all mining operations in Manitoba with the intention to best utilize opportunities to avoid negative impacts to the Red River Métis. Some of the most recent mining files include:

Potash and Agri-Development Corporation of Manitoba Ltd. (PADCOM)

The proponent submitted an Environment Act Proposal on September 2, 2021, for a proposed potash solution mining project located in the Hamlet of Harrowby within the RM of Russell-Binscarth, approximately 16 km west of Russell. The proponent is proposing the construction and operation of the project for the extraction and processing of potash and would include a potash processing facility with a centrifuge, dryer, intake well of potash brine, and downhole injection brine well.

Pipelines will be constructed below ground to transport potash brine and pump water to the facility. The project is designed to produce 250,000 tonnes of potash per year, with an expected life of over 100 years. The actual project site, in the Hamlet of Harrowby, has no inhabitants - with two abandoned houses remaining on the site, assessed beyond repair. The land holdings consist of "a few" traditional farms to the south. PADCOM owns and leases the surface land that the proposed project will be developed on as PADCOM has purchased title to all privately-owned lands with the project site through negotiations with the landowner.

The project will employ the "Beechy Process" for selective solution mining, removing only the potash from a selected high-grade potash seam - developed and implemented in SK. The pilot project version of this process has been approved by Manitoba. Your Métis government is currently working with the proponent on opportunities for the MMF to partner with PADCOM and seek equity options for the benefit of our citizens.

Vivian Silica Sand Project

Sio Silica Corporation (formerly CanWhite Sands), a private company based in Calgary, has proposed to construct a silica sand processing facility and extraction process to produce 1.36 million tonnes of processed silica sand per year.

The Provincial licensing process is being split between two provincial Environmental Assessment Proposals (EAP) - the fi rst for the processing facility and the second for the extraction process which has yet to be fi led. Manitoba has chosen not to recommend a CEC hearing for this Project and although the MMF formally requested a designation of the Project under Federal jurisdiction (IAAC 2019) along with four other Indigenous governments and organizations, however, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change chose not to federally designate the Project. Both the processing facility and the extraction process have been approved by Manitoba and the project is moving forward.

Several Citizens have brought forward concerns about how the company stores the extracted material. Your Métis government has followed up with Manitoba to raise these concerns and seek remediation of these issues.

Wanipigow Silica Sand Mine

Canadian Premium Sand Inc. (CPSI) proposed to construct the Wanipigow Silica Sand Project near Seymourville, MB. The project has a projected life of more than 50 years and includes an open pit silica sand mine, a silica sand processing facility, a six-kilometre access road, a six-kilometre powerline, and progressive annual site reclamation.

The MMF contacted both Manitoba and CPSI to initiate full, proper, and meaningful engagement and consultation with the Red River Métis but neither Manitoba nor CPSI responded. Since that time, Manitoba issued an Environment Act Licence, the MMF fi led an appeal to this decision and the provincial Minister subsequently dismissed the appeal. Your Métis government is aware of the economic development opportunities that fl ow from the extraction of the product and will continue to attempt to engage with the proponent to ensure the Red River Métis are included in these opportunities.

B300-150 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 0J7

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