Resource-sharing agreement inked at ceremony


Gold exploration in the district marked another milestone this morning as the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation, and Osisko Hammond Reef Gold Ltd. signed a resource-sharing agreement at a ceremony at La Place Rendez-Vous here.
“This is an important and significant next step in the continued relationship between First Nations,” Tammy Ryll, executive director of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, said in a news release.
“Osisko has proactively engaged in a process of consultation that respects our traditional territories and our treaty rights, and we are pleased to support their initiative and its continued development,” she added.
The Hammond Reef advanced gold project is located near Atikokan.
It formerly was operated by Brett Resources until a friendly takeover by Osisko Mining Corp. that was announced in March of this year and completed in August.
As part of this agreement between the company and First Nations’ communities, several committees will be formed to “facilitate information gathering and maintaining open, transparent lines of communications.”
The agreement also sees Osisko providing employment and training to the communities.
Meanwhile, participating communities will create operating trusts which will receive training and educational funding from Osisko, and accept shares of Osisko Mining Corp. as “milestones in exploration and developments are reached.”
The signing of this resource-sharing agreement between the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat, Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation, and Osisko is the result of a respectful and considered consultation process between the signatories,” Osisko president and CEO Sean Roosen said in the news release.
“The agreement reflects a spirit of partnership and co-operation that began under the direction of Brett Resources, and underscores Osisko’s commitment to continue developing this strong relationship with the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat and Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation.
“It is a first significant step that we believe will result in a mutually-beneficial development and operation at Hammond Reef, one that will lead to lasting educational, employment, and economic benefits to the community members,” Roosen added.
Osisko Mining Corp. is a development stage gold mining company based in Montreal.
The First Nation communities signing this agreement include Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation and the seven communities which are members of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat: Couchiching, Lac La Croix, Mitaanjigamiing, Naicatchewenin, Nigigoonsiminikaaning, Rainy River First Nations, and Seine River.