The pact with the Brunswick House First Nation (BHFN), Chapleau Cree First Nation (CCFN) and Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation (COFN) is a first for the three. Additionally, the miner now has 26 agreements in place with First Nations groups to assert the communities' aboriginal and treaty rights in the proximity of Goldcorp operations.
Under the deal's terms, Goldcorp will recognise and respect "the rights and interests these First Nations have around the Borden project site, and the three First Nation communities recognise and support Goldcorp's rights and interests in the development and future operation of the mine". Goldcorp noted it also underscores its commitment to environmental protection and supporting aboriginal social and cultural practices.
In all, the IBA was the culmination of more than two years of £open, honest communications" between the parties. In addition to the environmental and health aspects of the project, the IBA also outlines provisions for employment, training, business and contracting, and a regulatory permitting framework.
"Successful relationships are built on trust, mutual respect, meaningful engagement, and they require sincere commitment from all involved. We recognise the importance of nurturing our partnerships and collaborating with our project neighbours to ensure the sustainability of the local communities surrounding Borden Gold," Porcupine Gold Mines general manager Marc Lauzier said; the subsidiary is developing Borden, set to be Canada's first all-electric underground mine when it comes online.
"This is our first partnership in mining, and although our relationship is young and still evolving, we are hopeful for the future of the project and for the opportunities that it will create," Chief Lisa VanBuskirk of Brunswick House First Nation said.
"We appreciate the efforts of Goldcorp and are thankful for them recognising our connection to the land and for their commitment to protecting it while in their care."
Chief Keith Corston of Chapleau Cree First Nation called the pact "an important milestone in our journey to form meaningful relationships with industry and to create sustainable opportunity for our community", and concurred that the cornerstones of successful pairings include open, trusting dialogue and engagement.
"We trust in Goldcorp to uphold the highest standards of environmental protections so that our future generations of children and families can continue practicing a cultural and traditional way of life," Corston said.
The Borden project in Chapleau, projected to begin commercial operations next year, will soon commence bulk sample extraction of up to 30,000t, the miner expects to see the first sample by the end of the Canadian summer.