Aboriginal land council protests against whitehaven coal mine.
In August last year, whitehaven iron ore producer Borden Energy Inc. agreed to buy 1,300 hectares of Abbotsford coal for about $4.3 billion.
The proposed $4.3-billion mine, originally to be found near whitehaven, is a proposed new project that would create more than 400 jobs and generate $2.4 billion for Abbotsford and surrounding communities.
The company had been trying to sell 1,320 hectares of mining rights in Abbotsford, northern New Brunswick.
But after a bitter campaign of pressure by indigenous groups and environmentalists, Borden scrapped the plans in May, saying it feared it would face court action over land that it owns.
The new deal with Abbotsford, in an area near the proposed mine site, would reduce the total amount of mine land owned by the First Nation by about 400 hectares.
This deal could have a big impact on Aboriginal communities
The new deal includes only one-quarter 이천안마of the original 1,321 hectares. The remainder would be turned into an “urban forest reserve” for conservation, which would give Abbotsford greater control over land development and future land sales.
“With 1,320 hectares it’s less than half of what we had originally planned,” says David Fournier, the minister in charge of the whitehaven mine and its surrounding area.
“This area was a place where we knew there would be some environmental harm if this project was built in the area. So we’re making sure that those impacts are addressed.”
The new agreement still falls well short of the original plan.
The new project would result in a $2.1-billion loss to Abbotsford, according to figures compiled by First Nations Communities.
In 2011, the federal government passed legislation that gave Abbotsford “ultimate Aboriginal” title — meaning Abbotsford owns all of the land in the community.
In June this year, Abbotsford and Abbotsford’s council adopted an interim agreement that called for the land to be turned over to the federal government.
In the months since, Abbotsford community members have protested and vowed to fight the federal government’s decision to sell more than 1,320 hectares of whitehaven land.
“We have the right to our right to sa