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De Beers Canada signs agreement

The Moose Cree First Nation and De Beers Canada Inc. have signed an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) for the De Beers Canada Victor Mine in Northern Ontario.

The IBA establishes commitments relating to education, training, business, compensation and other initiatives to maximize opportunities and minimize impacts arising from the construction and operation of the mine. The agreement also provides clarity on committee structures and procedures for both parties as the development of Ontario’s first diamond mine moves forward.

“De Beers is committed to working with the Aboriginal communities within which we operate around the world and this agreement demonstrates the importance we place on such relationships,” said Jim Gowans, president & CEO of De Beers Canada.

A number of training and business initiatives have been developed to provide local First Nation communities meaningful and long-term participation in the project.

“It’s important for the Moose Cree citizens to be entering into this IBA with De Beers because it shows respect for our Homeland,” said Chief Patricia Faries-Akiwenzie. “Our people have been here since time immemorial and will continue to live in and off this land. Now that De Beers is extracting our resources, it is only fair that we have reached an agreement that provides benefits for our First Nation. 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.”

This is the third community agreement that De Beers Canada has concluded for the Victor Mine and the seventh signed by the company in Canada. The previous IBA for Victor was formally signed with the Attawapiskat First Nation in November 2005. A Working Relationship Agreement with Taykwa Tagamou Nation was signed in May 2005.

The Victor Mine will be Ontario’s first diamond mine and is expected to produce six million carats during its 12-year life span. It will be the second diamond mine in Canada for De Beers, following the opening of the Snap Lake Mine in the Northwest Territories in the fall of 2007.

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