Drilling company kicked off worksite

The RCMP has helped a drilling company recover some of its property after it was held hostage last week by an aboriginal activist group.

The RCMP has helped a drilling company recover some of its property after it was held hostage last week by an aboriginal activist group.

Klabona Keepers took the drill hostage after they said it was there without permission.

Spokesperson Rhoda Quock said they took over the site on Ealue Lake Road, which she said is the access point for the Sacred Headwaters.

“This is the area we want protected,” she added.

The exploration tenure is owned by Firesteel Resources who hired Oz Minerals from Australia to do the exploratory work. Oz Minerals hired Black Hawk Drilling out of Smithers to conduct the drill program.

She said they have asked the company to meet with them in August and they never showed up so they were blockading the worksite.

“We want them to leave. What is the point of them to keep sinking in money, into something that is not going to go,” she said.

Four uniformed members from the Dease Lake detachment attended the site just south of Iskut last week.

Member of the Klabona Keepers Peter Jakesta said the police came in unannounced with snipers and threatened to arrest him.

Sgt Rob Vermeulen said that no officers had snipers.

“One of the members carried a rifle for bear protection as they had to hike through the bush to get to the site, not unlike the protestors who had 2 rifles and a crossbow,” said Vermeulen.

“As with any protest the RCMP is an impartial party. We attended the area to uphold the law, maintain the public peace and ensure safety for all parties, including the protesters.”

He added there were no issues, and no arrests.


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