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Uranium: AAFNA Flag

September 24, 2007

Uranium: AAFNA Flag

Uranium: AAFNA Flag

The Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and the Shabot Obaadijiwan First Nation, both local to Frontenac County, came together to present a united front against uranium mining.

They say that the subsurface rights in the area (all land below the surface) belong to them via a land claim which reaches back to 1772. The mining company argues that the subsurface rights are Crown land, for which the law says mining is allowed by anyone who legally stakes it, according to the Ontario mining law of 1870.

Frontenac Ventures has staked about 30,000 acres for mining, including both Crown land and privately owned land. The current mining law states that the company can stake subsurface land anywhere, no matter who owns it. The company’s exploration process includes the digging of trenches and holes, the cutting of trees and taking out any obstacles to the mining exploration, including roads owned by the township. So far there have been 70 land parcels of at least one hectare each staked in Frontenac county for the purposes of uranium exploration. Landowners in the area have no workable solution.

But there is one exception: an unsettled Aboriginal claim can supercede the mining law.

by Megan Hughes

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