10 December, 2015

Rio Tinto lawsuits endanger future projects in Canada

Rio Tinto second largest mining company is engaged in two projects in Serbia, one lithium research project in west Serbia and second project copper-gold properties of Canadian junior mining company Reservoir Minerals. Reservoir Minerals is also developing a joint venture project with major partner Freeport-McMoRan.

Canadian mining watch organizations attracted the attention of European miningwatch partners with recent Rio Tinto lawsuits, the cases which attracted the attention also of financial and stock market analysts and medias.

Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO) suddenly has a pair of lawsuits in Canada that reach back to projects built in the 1950s – a quarter-century before it first set foot in the country – that miners worry will scare off investors, Bloomberg reports.

In October, the Supreme Court of Canada cleared the way for separate aboriginal groups to challenge the future operations of a Rio hydroelectric dam in B.C., and an iron ore mine, with accompanying railway and port, in Quebec and Labrador.

The cases received little notice at the time, but now they are sparking a debate about whether they will discourage investment in Canada’s resource sector writes seekingalpha news service.

“If private parties are now going to be in litigation with First Nations for up to two decades on issues that were previously only brought against governments, it adds a lot of risk to potential projects, and ongoing projects, in Canada,” says the Fraser Institute’s Center for Aboriginal Policy Studies.