De Beers Canada signs third Victor mine impact benefit agreement with local First Nations
MOOSE FACTORY, ONT-The Moose Cree First Nation and De Beers Canada have signed an impact benefit agreement for De Beers' Victor mine in northern Ontario. The agreement formalizes commitments made by the company and the band relating to education, training, business, compensation and other initiatives to maximize opportunities and minimize impacts arising from the construction and operation of the mine. It also clarifies committee structures and procedures for both parties as the development of Ontario's first diamond mine proceeds. "This Agreement represents a major step forward in our relationship with outside resource users and breaks the trail for other companies who want to utilize our resources in the Moose Cree Homeland," said Chief Patricia Faries-Akiwenzie. The signing follows up on the Moose Cree community's ratification of the agreement this past June, by a vote of 85 % in favour of its acceptance. This is the third community agreement that De Beers has concluded for the Victor mine; a similar agreement was signed with the Attawapiskat First Nation in November 2005, following a working relationship agreement with the Taykwa Tagamou First Nation in May 2005. The Victor Mine is under construction in the James Bay lowlands, with operations expected to begin in the first quarter of 2008. During its 12-year lifespan, the Victor mine is expected to produce six million carats. A number of training and business initiatives have been developed to provide local First Nation communities meaningful and long-term participation in the project.