Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes is among those celebrating an historic agreement between Barkerville Gold Mines and the Lhtako Dene First Nation.

Oakes says the relationship sets the stage for the entire region when it comes to the diversification of the economy and creating jobs.

She says it shows that First Nations support the development of the Bonanza Ledge Mine which is located on their traditional territory…

“We’ve certainly seen in other areas of the province that if you don’t have that relationship how critically difficult it is to move any economic development project forward.”

Oakes says the relationship is beneficial to both parties.

She says Lhtako is building core boxes for the mine right now which employs four people and she says the mine has 85 employees right now and that could jump to 200 by the spring.

Oakes hopes this is just the start as she feels with the development of the Purden connector road that could lead to even more jobs in the region for things such as electrification.

She says that could lead to an expansion opportunity for the Troll Ski Resort and could help all of the mines out that way to increase jobs.