The Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement sets out a framework for continued consultation and support for current and future operations of the mine and defining the long-term benefits for the First Nation. A signing ceremony was held Friday, August 16, in the Municipality of Red Lake.
The agreement will bring recognition and economic benefits to Lac Seul First Nation, comprised of about 3,200 band members with significant historical ties to the development of the Red Lake gold camp. Many band members reside within the Municipality of Red Lake.
"Goldcorp's commitment to working with First Nations is once again demonstrated with this agreement, ensuring both the sustainable development of the areas in which we operate and long-term economic benefits for communities," said Chris Cormier, mine general manager at Goldcorp's Red Lake Gold Mines, in a news release. "We look forward to working in partnership with Lac Seul First Nation to foster continued dialogue and to implement the initiatives set out in the agreement."
"This agreement demonstrates that Lac Seul First Nation can work successfully with industry," Lac Seul Chief Clifford Bull said. "I want to extend my gratitude to Goldcorp for working with our First Nation to develop this Obishikokaang Collaboration Agreement, which will help create prosperity within our First Nation and the region, and certainty for Goldcorp."
The collaboration agreement lays the foundation for future benefits for the Lac Seul First Nation, including training and employment opportunities, business and contracting opportunities, and a framework for consultation on regulatory permitting as well as Goldcorp's future financial contributions in support of community development.
Red Lake Gold Mines is Goldcorp's top producing mine, yielding 507,700 ounces in 2012. The company is developing the Cochenour Project, which is essential to Red Lake's production profile, expected to commence operation in 2015.
The agreement also provides additional funding for the Lac Seul Training Centre of Excellence and the Lac Seul First Nation Business Equity Fund. The centre, founded last year with support from Goldcorp, provides quality, certified training programs and workshops to members of the community and the region at large. The centre also provides scholarship and bursary opportunities for Lac Seul First Nation youth interested in pursuing postsecondary education.