Two new revenue-sharing agreements will enable two Williams Lake-area First Nations to benefit from the expansion of the Mt. Polley mine.
Economic and Community Development Agreements (ECDA) will facilitate the Williams Lake Indian Band and Xatsull First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band) to receive a share of mineral tax revenues collected by the Province enabled by the expansion of the Mt. Polley mine, located east of Williams Lake.
The agreements are the sixth and seventh ECDAs that the B.C. government has reached to help First Nations benefit from mining activity within their traditional territories. These agreements build on the BC Jobs Plan commitment to reach 10 new non-treaty agreements with First Nations by 2015. The Mt. Polley ECDAs are the 14th and 15th non-treaty agreements the B.C. government has reached since the Jobs Plan launch.
The agreements also fulfil the B.C. Jobs Plan commitment to support existing jobs and create new jobs through the expansion of existing mines and the establishment of new mines.
The Mt. Polley mine is one of Imperial Metals' key projects, and is a significant employer in the Williams Lake and Likely areas. The Mt. Polley expansion received permit approval in August 2011. The mine is currently scheduled to operate until 2024.
Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Minister Ida Chong -
"These agreements underscore our government's commitment to helping First Nations meaningfully participate in, and benefit from, resource activity happening within their traditional territory. It will help the Williams Lake Indian Band and Xatsull First Nation build a better future for their own communities, while also supporting a mine expansion that will provide huge benefits to Williams Lake and the surrounding area."
Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie -
"We're pleased to conclude this agreement and think it's a very positive step that benefits will now be flowing to the Williams Lake Indian Band from Mt. Polley Mine. For industry, First Nations and government to amicably co-exist, there has to be a reasonable sharing of the benefits derived from natural resources in First Nations' traditional territories. Economic and Community Development Agreements are one step in achieving that goal."
Xatsull First Nation Chief Bev Sellars -
"We welcome this long-awaited acknowledgment of the environmental and economic interests that Xatsull holds in our Stewardship Area."
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett -
"The revenue-sharing agreement will bring real benefits to local First Nations communities. It is also another key step forward for a mine expansion that will create jobs and economic benefits for Williams Lake and the surrounding area."
- The ECDAs cover the Mount Polley Mine site east of Williams Lake, B.C.
- Mount Polley 2012 planned production is estimated at 34 million pounds of copper, 46,800 ounces of gold, and 90,000 ounces of silver.
- As committed in the BC Jobs Plan, eight new mines will open and nine will be expanded by 2015. The B.C. government is already more than halfway done in achieving the Jobs Plan goals.
- In addition to Copper Mountain Mine (near Princeton), which began production in June 2011, two new mines have begun production (New Afton, near Kamloops, and Treasure Mountain, near Hope), and three more are now under construction.
For more information about the Mt. Polley ECDA, please visit: http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/treaty/key/default.html
For photos from the Mt. Polley ECDA, visit: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjEFWiW3
Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation