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Endako Mine Affecting Watershed

Endako Mine Affecting Watershed

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January 30, 2014

Endako Mine Affecting Watershed

Nadleh Whut'en Territory - Fraser Lake, BC, Canada - The Nadleh Whut'en First Nation is growing increasingly concerned and frustrated with the ongoing environmental impacts from the Endako mine, which is located west of Fraser Lake.  There have been studies done that indicate that the Endako Mine is releasing chemicals into the local watersheds that have negative impacts to aquatic life. The BC Ministry of Environment and Environment Canada are aware of the situation at the Endako Mine and Nadleh Whut’en is seeking immediate remedies and solutions to improve this situation at the Endako Mine.

Chief Martin Louie stated, "We are concerned about the environment, and it seems like the government is allowing industry to pollute.  We are the stewards of our lands and waters, and we cannot allow this to continue. We are extremely concerned that the Endako Mine is affecting our water and fresh water fish including salmon and the endangered Nechako White Sturgeon." He added, "The Company has been difficult to deal with as it claims it has no money.  The government is claiming the same thing, and doesn’t provide any resources for First Nations to review or conduct studies. Just because the market is not doing well for molybdenum, doesn't mean you can just do what you want to our lands and waters.  Both government and the company have made millions of dollars since the mine opened in the 1960s.”

Chief Louie added, “It’s not just about making money from our resources at the expense of the environment to lower the government debt.  The BC and federal government seem content in having low standards and permit limits for the Endako Mine; if it was a new mine; it would not be allowed to operate the way it does." The Mine Endako is regulated under the Mines Act and other BC and federal regulations. Every mine in BC receives permits based on site specific conditions. Endako Mine is owned by Colorado based Thompson Creek Metals (75%. TCM - NYSE: TC.  TSX: TCM) and Sojitz Moly Corporation (25%), which is a subsidiary of the Japanese Sojitz Corporation.

Endako Mine requires more permits to operate beyond 2014.  With the new mill it will allow for a doubling of production including a doubling of use of fresh water from Francois Lake and increased in effluent discharge into the Endako River and Francois Lake. The Endako Mine produces mid-grad molybdenum, and discharges chemicals; molybdenum and sulphate are far higher than BC water quality standards acceptable for the rivers and streams near the mine. All six of the discharges exceed both BC water quality guidelines for molybdenum and recently recommended BC sulphate guidelines.

It also produces aerial discharges from its roasting process which includes sulphur dioxide.  Nadleh Whut’en is not convinced that studies have been adequately completed which examine the impacts to fish, ungulates, water and vegetation around the mine. It’s also unclear if there are negative human health impacts from these discharges.

"Nadleh Whut'en, other First Nations and local residents should be concerned that the Endako Mine is allowed to pollute the environment. If it was a new mine it would be under higher, and better standards, but it seems that Endako is being allowed to operate using outdated practices, old baseline information and we'll be stuck cleaning up the mess." Chief Louie concluded, "This mine combined with all the other proposed developments in the region, including forestry and natural gas pipelines will put a lot of pressures on the local ecosystems. We need a process for determining cumulative impacts, which will require First Nations leadership and collaboration with industries and government. Endako has an important role to play if it plans to operate in our territory for another 20 years."

The Nadleh Whut'en First Nation territory encompasses 500,000 hectares (5,000 sq. km), including several Indian Reserves managed by Nadleh Whut’en, with a membership of about 800. Nadleh Whut’en is part of the Yinka Dene Alliance, Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, with a combined population of over 5,000 Dakelh (Carrier) people. Nadleh Whut'en seeks to ensure that a healthy land is left for future generations.

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For more info contact:
Chief Martin Louie at 4dakelh@nadleh.ca or 1-250-570-7759

www.nadleh.ca

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