Update on our private prosecution of De Beers case. See CBC news story here.
In October 2018, the defence brought a motion arguing that De Beers right to trial within a reasonable time was violated. In December 2018, the Justice of the Peace (JP) granted the motion and stayed all charges. Ecojustice believes that the JP made a number of significant errors when granting the motion and will be appealing the motion to the Ontario Court of Justice on June 25 in Timmins. If successful on appeal the case will move quickly to trial.
You can read more here on why we took diamond giant De Beers to court.
The remote De Beers’ Victor Diamond Mine is located in northeastern Ontario, 90 km west of Attawapiskat First Nation in the Attawapiskat River watershed. The region is part of one of the largest, intact ecosystems areas left on earth with rich wetlands and clean flowing rivers that support continentally important populations of wildlife, including threatened woodland caribou and healthy fisheries. It also regulates climate, stores carbon and sustains the traditional activities of First Nations. Up until the opening of the mine in 2008, it was an area with very little industrial development.
Read our special report here.
New 2019 Map of Attawapiskat River Watershed includes
Victor Diamond Mine & Ring of Fire.
We care because the Hudson Bay Lowland and adjacent northern Boreal Forest is one of the largest intact areas left on the planet. It is also the ancestral homeland for many Indigenous communities. Industrial resource extraction should only proceed if it meets the highest standards in the world (including free prior and informed consent) and only after a long term plan for the region is in place.
Ontario needs a long term view to ensure local First Nations are respected and the environment is protected. Independent monitoring and reporting for the Victor Mine is needed.
The stakes here are high, ecologically, culturally and economically and we want to help Ontario get it right.
The Victor Diamond Mine has been approved and is now operating. But permits need to be renewed throughout the life of the mine operation, such as Permits to Take Water. In the case of an operating mine, monitoring becomes very important and making the monitoring data accessible to First Nations and the public is a critically missing step towards transparent decision-making.
There should be opportunities for the public to learn more about what it means to mine in the muskeg. The risks and costs to communities, rivers, fish and other wildlife need to be brought to light along with any economic benefits. A transparent and informed conversation around trade-offs is paramount especially as plans are afoot to open new mines.
Environmental Group Takes Diamond Giant De Beers to Court (December 6, 2016)
Failure of self monitoring at the De Beers Victor diamond mine in Canada (December 21, 2015)