NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – Last week De Beers Canada, the 51% owner and operator of the Gahcho Kué diamond project, Mountain Province Diamonds, the 49% owner, and the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation announced the signing of the impact benefit agreement for the project.
The IBA creates a framework for De Beers and the First Nation to work together over the life of the mine with a particular focus on participation by the Lutsel K'e Dene in opportunities arising from construction and operation of the project. It also offers respect for the culture and ensures that training, employment and business opportunities are made available to Lutsel K'e Dene members. Furthermore, financing will be provided so that the members can prepare bids on potential opportunities.
"If we work together with the other First Nations, then we will be powerful," said Chief Felix Lockhart. "This agreement ensures that we have our families out on the land, using our land. We are shaping resource development the way we want it, according to First Nations. We are going to be monitoring it."
The Gahcho Kué project is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife. The project will provide nearly 700 jobs during construction and about 400 jobs when mining and processing begins in the second half of 2016.