Tahltan Central Government Delegation Travel to Australia to View Proposed Block Caving Mining Method
DEASE LAKE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, 6 December 2022 – This week, Tahltan Central Government (TCG) Leadership will be travelling to Panuara, Australia to visit the Cadia Mine operated by Newcrest. Initially planned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the visit is now able to proceed following the lifting of strict travel restrictions that had previously blocked entry into Australia for the TCG delegation.
Newcrest is proposing to develop a block caving mining project at their Red Chris site located in Tahltan Territory. The Cadia Mine tour is an opportunity for TCG Leadership to view Newcrest’s block caving method and operations in person. As this is a newly developed method, there have been questions surrounding potential impacts on the environment and landscape, safety of workers, and various other effects that may differ from traditional forms of underground mining seen in territory.
Leadership from the TCG have been pushing for this visit for several years. The TCG Executive and key staff participating in the tour include TCG’s President, Chad Norman Day, Secretary Treasurer Sandra Marion, Education & Training Director Cassandra Puckett, and Employment & Business Director, Ann Ball. Kimberly Marion, Simgaldtada (Ts’imgalteda) Family Representative, who is TCG’s longest tenured TCG Family Representative was also chosen to join and support the delegation in the absence of Heather Hawkins, TCG Vice President who was unable to attend due to family commitments. The TCG will be planning additional site visits to the mine in the new year with representatives including the TCG Lands Department and the Tahltan Heritage Resources Environmental Team (THREAT) to support its due diligence on considering any proposed block caving methods within Tahltan Territory. Newcrest has also committed to working with the Tahltan Band, Iskut Band and the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) should they wish to visit the Cadia Mine.
In addition to viewing the block caving mine, the visit will provide TCG Leadership an opportunity to discuss their questions and concerns directly with Newcrest Leadership. They will also learn more about local Indigenous culture and heritage through a visit to the Australian Museum and the Yiribana Gallery. They are also scheduled to meet with the Wiradjuri Nation’s Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council, who will be able to provide some insight and share their perspectives on block caving and their experience with Newcrest.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit the Newcrest Cadia Mine in person and see block caving up close,” said Chad Norman Day, TCG’s President. “It is important that Tahltans fully comprehend proposed projects that will be situated in Tahltan Territory. Our aboriginal rights and title and BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) require Tahltan free, prior, and informed consent. Newcrest is acknowledging Tahltans’ authority in matters concerning our territory by satisfying our requests for information and facilitating this visit. Reading and researching can only get you so far, whereas experiencing something firsthand, having the chance to speak to locals, and having our questions answered by Newcrest Leadership and Indigenous peoples will help us to be more informed and to make better decisions.”
ABOUT THE TAHLTAN NATION
The Tahltan Central Government (TCG) is the administrative governing body of the Tahltan Nation and is the representative government of the Tahltan Nation with respect to the inherent and collective Aboriginal title and rights shared by all Tahltan people. The Tahltan Nation’s Territory spans 95,933 square km of Northwest British Columbia or the equivalent of 11 per cent of the province. For more information, visit: www.tahltan.org.
For further information, please contact:
Communications & External Relations Director
Tahltan Central Government