An open-pit gold and silver mine currently in the development phase 160 kilometers southwest of Prince George has received the support of two Indigenous communities.
The Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation and Ulkatcho First Nation have signed an agreement with the B.C. Government supporting the development of the Blackwater Gold Mine near Vanderhoof.
Under the agreement, a portion of the provincial mineral revenue tax from the planned project that could be worth as much as $217 million while the mine is operational will be shared equally between the two Nations.
The province says in addition to creating a new source of revenue for the two Nations, the agreement commits to collaborative work to develop a process for engagement on future permitting associated with the mine.
“On behalf of my community, we are pleased to support the Economic and Community Development Agreement (ECDA) with B.C. and look forward to the long-term stability it will provide for my current and future generations,” said Chief Liliane Squinas, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation.
“Ulkatcho First Nation (UFN) agreed with the project only after our environmental concerns and conditions were addressed,” added Ulkatcho First Nation Chief Lynda Price. “This is another opportunity for UFN members to participate in the economy. The ECDA will support capacity development and prepare UFN moving forward in a positive direction. UFN acknowledge this has been a long process, which began in early 2012, and are grateful to have reached this milestone.”
The Black Water Gold Mine is expected to create 1,500 jobs during construction and 495 during operations. New Gold anticipates it to operate for 17 years.
The mine received both federal and provincial environmental assessment certificates in 2019.