$900 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Rio Tinto's IOC

              $900 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Rio Tinto's IOC

  PR Newswire

  MONTREAL, March 20, 2013

MONTREAL, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Innu communities of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam and Matimekush-Lac John defend
their aboriginal rights

On March 18 at the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal, the Innu First Nations
of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam (Uashaunnuat) and Matimekush-Lac John (MLJ), whose
traditional territory (Nitassinan) covers much of northeastern Quebec and
Labrador, filed a motion to obtain an injunction against Iron Ore Company of
Canada's (IOC) mining operations in Quebec and Labrador as well as damages for
the harm caused to them by IOC estimated at $900 million. IOC's majority
shareholder is Rio Tinto.

"While Rio Tinto is anxious to uphold its image as a model corporate citizen,
boasting of its commitment to aboriginal peoples around the world, the
Uashaunnuat and MLJ can attest that, in their own experience, these are
nothing but empty words. IOC has undertaken all of its projects without the
consent of the Uashaunnuat and MLJ, in violation of our rights. IOC and now
Rio Tinto are the companies that have inflicted the most harm on the
Uashaunnuat and MLJ and caused the most damage to our Nitassinan" said
Vice-Chief Mike McKenzie of Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam.

Since the 1950s, IOC has built and operated a mining mega-project within the
Nitassinan in and around what are now Schefferville, Labrador City and
Sept-Îles without the prior consent of the Uashaunnuat and MLJ. IOC's mines
and other facilities have ruined the environment of the Uashaunnuat and MLJ,
have displaced them from their territory and have prevented them from
practicing their traditional activities as well as their traditional way of
life. In addition, IOC's various projects, including a 578-km railway between
Schefferville and Sept-Îles owned and operated by their subsidiary QNS&L, have
opened up the Uashaunnuat's and MLJ's territory to numerous other destructive
development projects.

"In spite of the attempts we have made at reconciliation, IOC and Rio Tinto
continue to act in an irresponsible and disrespectful manner. While we are not
opposed to any and all mining development - we have in fact signed agreements
with other mining companies who sought our consent for their projects - mining
development, just like any other development, must not violate our rights,
must respect our values, traditions and way of life, and must be
environmentally sustainable. A balance must be achieved, but regrettably,
IOC's practices are of a bygone era. This must stop," said Chief Réal McKenzie
of Matimekush-Lac John.

Let us not forget that IOC is the most important producer of iron ore in
Canada. Since beginning its massive mining operations in Nitassinan in 1954,
the company has extracted and profited from the sale of nearly one million
tonnes of ore produced at facilities in Schefferville (now closed) and
Labrador City. IOC is now looking towards an expansion project that will only
result in increased harm to the Uashaunnuat and to MLJ, who have yet to
receive any revenue, compensation, indemnity or royalties whatsoever from the


For further information:

Uashat Mak Mani-Utenam Ken Rock Phone: +1-418-965-7256

Matimekush-Lac John  Nadir André Phone: +1-514-702-8202
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