North shore mine builder Generation Mining has signed an "agreement in principle" with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg on the proposed Marathon Palladium Copper Project, situated outside of the town of Marathon.
The company's April 1 company news release said the agreement outlines the framework for an eventual community benefit agreement that will bring training, jobs, business opportunities and financial participation to the 1,200 on and off-reserve members of the nearby community.
The proposed $1-billion open-pit mine is expected to bring 1,100 construction jobs to the community of Marathon over the next two to three years, employ close to 400 miners when in operation, and generate many more indirect and spinoff positions. The projected mine life is 13 years with an aggressive commercial production timeline to begin mining by 2024.
Gen Mining said Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (formerly Pic River) has been an integral part of the environmental assessment process and the project planning.
Formalizing the long-term relationship with this agreement, the company said, signals the community leadership’s support, in principle, for the mine project.
“Our people have been on this land since time immemorial and the project is located on our exclusive unceded ancestral lands," said Biigtigong Nishnaabeg Chief Duncan Michano in a statement.
"We are proud to work together with Gen Mining to work towards a community benefit agreement that our community members are comfortable with, and to ensure that the cultural values and the environment, including the fish, plants and wildlife that are integral to our way of life, are protected.”
Gen Mining president Jamie Levy said the company is proud to partner with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg with ongoing collaboration for "years to come."
“Gen Mining respects the Indigenous culture and the environment where we work and plan to operate."