The District of Wells and Osisko Development, owner of Barkerville Gold Mines, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Wells Mayor Ed Coleman says it’s a very important step moving forward.
“An MOU is where you understand each other and the rolls that each of your operations have to operate under. And once you understand those and respect those, then you can sit down and do business.”
Coleman says they got an assist from Quesnel in putting the Memorandum of Understanding together.
“The one we have was graciously supplied by the City of Quesnel, which is a template they use to build relationships with Lhtako Nations, so we have been very blessed to have that as a starting point. We’ve done minor modifications to the one that we’re using.”
Coleman says this agreement provides firm ground for moving ahead to discuss an agreement.
“We need to talk about sewer and water, housing, the school and our facilities, roads, their needs for their employees. 460 employees are expected to be employed and some of them will want to live in Wells, so all of the trail systems that we have. They have camps and hotels that they will be investing in once they get their approvals, so there is land-use discussions.”
Coleman says that work will take place over the next 5 months or so.
He says there is a lot on the table but having a solid relationship means you can take any one of these topics and work through it.
Osisko Development President Chris Lodder was also pleased with the Memorandum of Understanding.
“We’re committed to working with the District of Wells, and we want to thank the Mayor and Council for their hard work on this MOU and their commitment to a positive relationship. Wells will not just be a home to the Cariboo Gold Project, it will be a home for our employees, so working together on shared priorities is good for everyone.”
Since taking ownership of Barkerville Gold Mines, Osisko has committed $500,000 to revitalize the local school, and has contributed one million dollars over the past two years to Barkerville Historic Town and Park to support the region’s tourism sector through the challenges of COVID-19 and forest fires.