Bands, mining company ink deal


BLACKHAWK—Local First Nations signed a memorandum of understanding with mining exploration company Rainy River Resources on Thursday afternoon to mark a mutually-beneficial relationship between them.
“I see this as something that we need in the district, and continue to make it happen,” Rainy River First Nations Chief Jim Leonard said at the signing ceremony, which took place at Rainy River Resources’ gold exploration project site in Blackhawk.
“And I hope that everyone can benefit—not only the First Nations’ people but people from the surrounding area,” Chief Leonard added.
“We’re going to need a lot of help, and we’re here and we’re neighbours,” he stressed.
Representatives from Rainy River Resources and several First Nations that are members of the Fort Frances Chiefs Secretariat were on hand to sign the MOU.
“To the chiefs and the communities of the secretariat, the seven areas that we could have some potential impact, too, we’re really looking forward to this, working with you,” said Raymond Threlkeld, president and CEO of Rainy River Resources Ltd..
As part of the MOU, the company has agreed to inform the First Nations of its exploration proposals and timetables, and conduct all exploration activities in an environmentally-responsible manner.
Employment opportunities and the opportunity to bid on contracts also were highlighted in the memorandum, as well as plans to hire a full-time “First Nation Engagement Specialist,” who will serve as a liaison between the company and the First Nations.
Rainy River Resources also will begin working with the First Nations to develop and implement an “Impact and Benefits Agreement.”
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)