Nak’azdli Whuten and ThompsonN Creek Metals Company, owner of the Mount Milligan Mine (Thompson Creek signed a landmark agreement on April 22.
Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBA’S) are common in the mining industry. They are often signed by industrial proponents and Aboriginal communities.
Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nations Chief, Fred Sam says that this agreement is the start of a new relationship with Thompson Creek.
“This will allow Nak’azdli and its members to maintain their role as stewards of this land through indigenous monitoring programs, access to mine information and inclusion of traditional knowledge in decision making. We also anticipate more employment and business opportunities for our community,” Sam said.
Impact and benefit agreements are a tool that indigenous communities use to manage impacts and participate in the benefits of industrial developments that take place in their territory.
This development in particular, has already been operating since 2013.
According to Nak’azdli, this agreement provides a range of benefits along with specific environmental protection.
Environmental monitors will be hired in the community to ensure that the benefits are implemented. In exchange for these protections and benefits, the Nak’azdli Band permits the continuation of the project subject to the conditions of the agreement.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Thompson Creek, Jacques Perron, says that community engagement and environmental protection are core values that guide how Thompson Creek operates.
“During these negotiations we were able to find common ground with Nak’azdli, particularly in our mutual desire to maintain and preserve the area around Mount Milligan,” Perron said.