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Sharing the benefits of responsible mining

Mining companies in Ontario are building a strong track record of successfully negotiating innovative agreements with First Nation communities in all parts of the province.  More than 50 agreements of various types involving mineral producers, explorers and Aboriginals have been negotiated, and the number is growing.  Mining companies of all sizes – large multi-nationals and junior exploration companies – and many different First Nations are sharing the benefits of responsible mineral development.

These creative agreements provide benefits for both parties involved.Companies receive certainty and support along with new participants in the development of specific properties.  First Nations receive training, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities as well as assistance with the development of their communities.  In turn, all Ontarians benefit from sharing of the province’s mineral resources through job creation and spin-off economic activity and the generation of government tax revenues.   Mining can be a catalyst to help get Ontario’s economy back on the upswing.Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal deserves praise for taking the initiative to catalogue and showcase several case studies of agreements between First Nations and mining companies.  These articles may all be different but they share a common theme of mutual benefit, respect and development.  The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) and the OMA Aboriginal Relations Committee are pleased to assist with this publication, which features agreements developed and shared by several OMA member companies with First Nations.  We thank the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry and its Minister, Michael Gravelle, for supporting this special report.

These agreements provide a foundation for moving forward.  Phil Fontaine, past national chief of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), often typified First Nations and mining companies as natural allies.

The AFN has signed Memoranda of Understanding with two national mining organizations – the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada – to promote and encourage greater co-operation and mutual benefit.

Mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people in Canada and is making significant contributions to the well-being and development of many remote communities.   These articles provide excellent examples of how to continue to move forward.  The OMA will be featuring the articles on its website www.oma.on.ca.

Chris Hodgson,
President,
Ontario Mining Association

 

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