BRITISH COLUMBIA

Imperial Metals granted permanent injunction against Tahltan blockaders

11/27/2014 12:47 EST | Updated 01/27/2015 05:59 EST
TERRACE, B.C. - A group of Tahltan (Tall-tan) elders say they are being permanently kicked off a gold and copper mine site in their traditional territory by a B.C. mining company behind a massive tailings pond spill.

The elders, calling themselves the Klabona Keepers, blockaded Imperial Metals' (TSX:III) nearly-completed Red Chris mine in northwestern B.C. after its Mount Polley mine in the Interior suffered a breach in August, sending a surge of effluent into nearby waterways.

The Klabona Keepers say the company's injunction and an enforcement order against them was granted in provincial court in Terrace on Wednesday, although they have already stood down their blockade for a month.

Imperial Metals was granted a temporary injunction in October, but sought the more permanent court order by arguing blockaders were preventing work on the nearly-completed mine.

Tahltan elder Bertha Louie says she expected the court would rule in favour of corporate interests, and feels stripped of her inherent rights and title.

The ruling comes just as Kinder Morgan applies to expand an unrelated injunction granted last week against protesters at a Metro Vancouver conservation site where it is drilling for a proposed pipeline expansion.