Innu blockade Mining Company, Oppose ‘Plan Nord’

Blockade in Schefferville affects local mining companies

Innu blockade of mining in Sept. 2010.

Elizabeth Walters, Stockhouse, July 3, 2012

A blockade has been established by members of the local Innu first-nations community in Schefferville.

On Tuesday members of the Innu were blocking a main road to Labrador Mines Holdings Ltd., New Millenium Iron Corp. and several other mining companies in a protest against the Quebec resource development plan known as Plan Nord.

The Labrador Iron Mines property in Schefferville is currently a full-scale mining operation.  Its wholly-owned James Mine is located in the western central part of the iron-rich Labrador Trough. Since production began on April 2, 2012, the mine has produced 400,000 tonnes of iron ore. The company aims to increase production to five million tonnes of iron ore annually by 2015.

“The road to the mine site is the road that is blocked,” said Rod Cooper, President of Labrador Iron Mines. “We cannot effectively bring supplies or people through the barricade, but we’re not in Quebec, we’re in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and have rail access there, so at the moment we’re only minimally affected.”

In an interview with Stockhouse, Cooper said members of the blockade are holding signs that oppose Plan Nord.

On Tuesday, Labrador Mines was trading at $2.65 a share. The company has a market cap of $178.6 million shares, based on $67.4 million shares outstanding. The 52-week high and low was $12.47 and $2.47 respectively.

Plan Nord is an economic strategy launched by the government of Quebec in May 2011. The strategy’s focus is on the development of the natural resources extraction sector in the part of Quebec north of the 49th parallel. The goal is to preserve half of northern Quebec, while allowing sustainable mining and forestry in the other half.

According to published reports, in the past Plan Nord, has been opposed by the Innu because the agreement has a clause that allows specific protected areas to become available for mining and gas exploitation if such resources are found.

Road access to properties that are being explored by New Millennium is also being restricted by the blockade. They include New Millenium’s Iron Range project, which consists of two deposits that stretch 210 kilometres from western Labrador to eastern Quebec. New Millennium is working with Tata Steel Minerals Canada Ltd. to develop the deposits, together known as the Taconite project, where already nine billion tonnes of NI 43-101 compliant resources have been confirmed.

Innu blockade of mines in Sept. 2010.

“We don’t know specifically what the problem is, or who the real target is,” said Dean Journeaux, President and CEO of New Millennium. ”But once you block the road you affect everybody.”

Journeaux is hoping the problem will be resolved amicably by the end of the week.

Joueneaux said the number of people thought to be involved in the protest may be as high as 30. “It’s not a big crowd, but there are a few people involved.”

On Tuesday, New Millennium was trading for $1.60 a share. The company has a market cap of $285.2 million shares, based on $178.2 million shares outstanding. The 52-week high and low was $3.23 and $0.90 respectively.

Blockade impacting mining work in Labrador

The Telegram, July 3, 2012

New Millenium confirms ‘some members’ from Innu community have established road block

A blockade of mining roads on the Quebec-Labrador border has impacted the work of at least one mining company active in the area.

New Millennium Iron Corp. have stated “some members of the local Innu community of Scheffervile” have been blocking roads to the iron ore mining areas since Saturday.

“The blockade is peaceful and we are respecting it. We have Impact Benefit Agreements with all the First Nations communities, including the local Innu communities, the Innu of Labrador and the Naskapi,” stated Dean Journeaux, president and CEO of New Millennium Iron.

“The economic impact will be felt by all involved including the First Nations people and contractors working on the various projects. We look to an early resolution by the authorities.”

New Millenium is involved in a joint venture with Tata Steel near Schefferville. The project involves 64 million tonnes of iron ore.

About 75 per cent of the project’s $335 million total capital investment is in Labrador. Construction is to involve new rail and camp facilities, a power plant and processing plant.

The mine is expected to employ 175 people when operational.

The Innu Municipal Development Partnership of Labrador City ( holds the general construction contract.

The ongoing blockade echoes the events of June 2010, when the Innu Strategic Alliance — including the Chiefs of the Innu communities of Ekuanitshit, Matimekush-Lac John, Pessamit, Uashat mak Mani-Utenam and Unamen Shipu and representing some 12,000 people, about 70 per cent of the Innu Nation living in Quebec — created blockades of mining roads in the Schefferville area.

At that time, the issue expressed was a lack of appropriate consultation with aboriginal groups prior to mining developments being approved.

Posted on July 3, 2012, in Defending Territory, Mining and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It`s time for the great gathering july 15th to 20th at Eagle`s Nest Brantford ontario..please find the information on our decolonize north america website

  2. Good for you Quebec Innu! Keep it up!

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