03/18/2013 02:13 EDT

HudBay Minerals Sues Mathias Colomb Cree Nation Over Protests At Manitoba Mine


WINNIPEG — A legal battle has erupted between HudBay Minerals Inc. and a northern Manitoba First Nation over two Idle No More rallies this winter.

HudBay is suing the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation over the rallies it says blocked the entrance to where the company's gold, zinc and copper mine is being developed.

Mathias Colomb chief Arlen Dumas says his members did not prevent access to the site near Lalor Lake, but simply held a peaceful demonstration.

Dumas also says HudBay and the Manitoba government should have obtained consent from area aboriginals before going ahead with development.

The chief says the band never surrendered its rights to the land and resources.

A court hearing on the lawsuit, as well as a request for an injunction against further rallies, is scheduled for Wednesday.

Work is well underway on development of the 916-hectare property.

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