TORONTO — A Superior Court judge has reserved her decision on Ginoogaming First Nation's request for an injunction to stop mineral exploration on 260 square kilometres of its traditional territory.
Arguments were heard in a day-long hearing Tuesday conducted by video conference.
The First Nation, near Longlac, says Hardrock Extension Inc. has been working in a "sacred and cultural keystone area" that requires protection.
Hardrock owner Michael Malouf maintains that Ginoogaming's declaration of a sacred area "is a new thing they came up with after years of consultation with us where they didn't mention it at all."
The First Nation wants an injunction against further exploration pending the outcome of a lawsuit it has filed.
The lawsuit seeks declarations that Ginoogaming has aboriginal rights to protect sacred areas, and that these areas "must not be desecrated with industrial development," said lawyer Kate Kempton.
Malouf has said he explored the area for almost 40 years before being told it was sacred territory.
In addition to the injunction against him, Ginoogaming has applied for an injunction to stop Ontario from issuing an exploration permit to another company.