In a May 30 news release, Sagamok Chief Nelson Toulouse heralded the news as a historic development for the First Nation, noting the new agreement would enable “greater control over the contract, create more job opportunities and revenue for Sagamok Anishnawbek.”
“This will mean more employment for our community members; therefore, require more equipment and trucks to complete the terms and conditions of the contract,” Toulouse said.
“Z’gamok Construction LP will also have the mandate to pursue other contract opportunities that flow from the IBA (impact benefit agreement).”
Sagamok Anishnawbek, whose name means ‘two points joining,’ is located along the north shore of Lake Huron.
The community counts more than 2,000 members, with a little over 50 per cent living on-reserve.
Toulouse noted that landing the contract has been a long time coming for the First Nation.
In 2012, after six years of negotiations, Sagamok and Vale were successful in signing an IBA outlining the benefits the new mine would bring to the community. Toulouse said the IBA has resulted in creating jobs for community members in mining, trucking and haulage, janitorial, and snow removal services.
“Strong partnerships were created that would provide Sagamok with an opportunity to build capacity and training,” Toulouse said.
“One of those longstanding and strong partnerships is with TBell Transport located in Nairn, Ontario. Sagamok and TBell Transport entered into an agreement to have TBell undertake the contract on our behalf from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2019. The agreement also described the understanding that Sagamok would take control of the contract when it expired.”
Toulouse said Sagamok will officially take over the contract on June 1.
Vale’s Totten nickel mine went into operation in 2014 at a cost of $760 million. At the time, it marked the first new mine to open in Sudbury in 40 years.
The mine employs 200 people and has an expected lifespan of 20 years.