A crowd of 50 rallied May 29th outside the prestigious Terminal City Club in downtown Vancouver to voice their opposition to Imperial Metals’ proposal to build 2 mines in Clayoquot Sound.
“We are here to send Imperial a clear message that heavy mining activity is unacceptable in Clayoquot, and that environmental values and First Nations rights and concerns must be respected,” said Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner with the Wilderness Committee.
Imperial Metals is a Vancouver-based mining company who acquired mineral rights in Clayoquot Sound in 2009. Their mine proposals in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve include the Catface Mountain open-pit copper mine in Ahousaht First Nations’ un-ceded territory, and the Fandora Gold mine in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations’ un-ceded territory.
The Fandora proposal involves re-activating an old gold mine in the Tranquil Valley that was closed back in the 60s. With gold prices so high, there is a global trend towards re-opening old mines. Imperial Metals is currently applying to drill up to 10 test holes, with an average depth of 500 metres.
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations do not support mining in their territories and do not want any exploration done by Imperial. “Imperial Metals’ proposed gold mine at the Fandora site would have massive negative impacts on our Nuu-chah-nulth ways and our attempts to ensure the well-being of our Tla-o-qui-aht Peoples and our environment” said Terry Dorward, Tla-o-qui-aht Councillor.
It is unthinkable that 20 years after the mass protests of 1993 that Imperial Metals is proposing two mines in Clayoquot Sound. These mines would damage the landscape and present a toxic risk to the salmon that feed the ancient forests—a toxic legacy that would endure for centuries.
The rally showed Imperial Metals shareholders that they will face massive public opposition to their plans to mine in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.