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First Nation, mining company tout business partnership

White River mine development putting Pic Mobert members to work
Harte Gold aerial

Pic Mobert First Nation said it’s starting to reap the rewards of its partnership with Harte Gold, a fledgling gold producer near White River.

An impact-benefit agreement signed earlier this year with the company has “yielded numerous and substantial contracts” related to the underground gold mine development, said a news release from White Lake Limited Partnership, the business development arm of the northwestern Ontario First Nation community.

Pic Mobert Chief Johanna Desmoulin was at the mine site, 25 kilometres north of White River, on Aug.14, to announce “several positive developments” in the working relationship they’ve been cultivating with the company since 2009.

Harte Gold’s Sugar Zone Mine, which is scheduled to go into commercial production in September, is in the traditional territory of Pic Mobert.

According to Desmoulin, White Lake LP is running the 100-person camp located in White River through joint ventures with the Morris Group and Outland Camps.

Anishinabek Total Security Solution is providing site security through a partnership with Norpro, and general labourers from Pic Mobert are gaining experience at the mine site.

Apparently, there’s more good news on the horizon.

The news release said they’re discussing a long-term procurement strategy with Harte to guide future projects.

In a statement, Desmoulins was encouraged to see community members working at the site and “directly benefitting from the natural resources of our traditional and ancestral lands that our people have lived on for time immemorial.”

White Lake LP board president Marlene Sabourin looked forward to building on the mutually beneficial relationship to provide the mining company with “quality and cost-effective services…over the entirety of its mine life.”

Harte Gold president-CEO Stephen Roman said his company has forged a strong partnership with Pic Mobert since the early days of exploration in 2009.

“With final mine permitting in site, we look forward to the next ten years and beyond as we continue near-mine and property-wide exploration programs on the regional scale.

“Pic Mobert and Harte Gold are a lesson to all of Canada on how to successfully work together and develop trust and understanding and accomplish great things that will be for everyone’s benefit in the region.”