Protection money

The Campbell administration's decision to ban mining, as well as oil and gas development, in the Flathead Valley may have a price tag attached to it. Eastfield Resources Ltd. - which has two gold exploration projects in the area - announced earlier this month it will be pursuing the government for compensation as a result of that decision. And so will MAX Resources Corp., which had an agreement to earn a 60 percent stake in both projects. But, when we asked Energy, Mines and Petroleum Minister Blair Lekstrom last Wednesday about whether there would be compensation for such firms, he said, "I'm not at a point I can speculate on that at this point."

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Cline Mining also has leases in the area and its share price is up 20 per cent since the throne speech. Which could indicate that investors had already decided the coal mine - with reserves estimated at $5 billion - wouldn't go ahead. Or that they anticipate compensation.

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