VANCOUVER – New revenue-sharing agreements ensure 14 member bands of the Nlaka’pamux Nation will benefit from the expansion of the Highland Valley Copper Mine (HVC).
Through Economic and Community Development Agreements (ECDA), 14 Nlaka’pamux communities, including Ashcroft Indian Band; Boston Bar First Nation; Coldwater Indian Band; Cook’s Ferry Indian Band; Nicomen Indian Band; Nooaitch Indian Band; Shackan Indian Band, Siska Indian Band, Kanaka Bar Indian Band; and the five communities of the Nlaka’pamux Nation Tribal Council will share a percentage of the HVC mine’s mineral tax revenue. These ECDAs will assist the 14 bands and their members to pursue socio-economic goals that enhance the well-being of their communities.
“The sharing of revenue from the Highland Valley Copper Mine is a positive step toward addressing the cultural, economic and societal needs of our communities and members,” said David Walkem, Chief of the Cooks Ferry band and negotiator for eight of the Nlaka’pamux bands. “The sharing of revenue from the resources in our territory is a realization of Nlaka’pamux Chiefs’ vision contained in the Sir Wilfred Laurier Memorial of 1910.”
These are the eighth, ninth and tenth ECDAs the B.C. government has reached to help First Nations benefit from mining activity within their traditional territories. The agreement builds on the BC Jobs Plan commitment to reach 10 new non-treaty agreements by 2015.
These agreements support the BC Jobs Plan commitments to share new streams of tax revenue from major mine projects with First Nations, and to support existing jobs and to create new jobs. B.C. is committed to sharing revenues with First Nations as a means to increase certainty on the land and to bring First Nations into greater partnership in resource development.
These ECDAs also commit B.C. to work with the bands to address their interests related to the HVC mine through processes formalized in the agreement. Any future decisions related to HVC will be considered through these agreed-upon processes, in support of building understanding and an ongoing co-operative and respectful relationship.
The Highland Valley Copper Mine is the largest metal mine in B.C. Located near Logan Lake, it is operated by Teck and employs more than 900 full-time workers. HVC expansion activity began in late 2009 and the mine is expected to operate until at least 2026.