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North Shore palladium miner sharing the benefits with neighbouring First Nation

Generation Mining signs contracting, training opportunities pact with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg
Gen Mining pit conceptual 2

A mine builder in Marathon is on solid ground with its First Nation neighbour.

Toronto's Generation Mining announced the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Biigtigong Nishnaabeg (BN) for the proposed Marathon Palladium Copper Project near the north shore of Lake Superior.

Some of the highlights of the agreement, posted by the company on Jan. 27, revolve around business, training and employment opportunities linked to the project, including sole-sourcing some contracts to allow the community and local businesses to gain some of the economic benefits from the mine.

The development promises to deliver more than 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent mining jobs over a projected 13-year mine life.

Gen Mining is currently raising financing for the upfront capital costs to build and equip the $665-million project.

Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, also known as Pic River First Nation, is the closest First Nation to the future mine. The pit will be located about 10 kilometres north of the town of Marathon.

With the agreement, Gen Mining said it is committed to:

- Collaborate on sustainable community-based business opportunities that will last beyond the life of the Marathon Project

- Target and support businesses that include training, development and growth of BN community members in their professional development and long-term employment

- Support strategic partnerships and initiatives that help BN participate in opportunities to gain management experience in the mining industry

- Support BN with their strategic goals of growing current and aspirational sustainable businesses.

Both parties said the MOA is but one component of a larger Community Benefit Agreement that's being negotiated.

In a news release, the company calls agreement signing a milestone as the proposed open-pit project moves through the government regulatory approval phase of a combined federal and provincial environmental assessment process.

Should government approve the project and issue key building permits by the middle of this year, initial construction could start as early as September or October, or as late as November or December.

The company is anticipates starting commercial mining production tentatively beginning in late 2023 or early 2024

“Gen Mining respects the Indigenous culture and the environment where we work and plan to operate," said Gen Mining president-CEO Jamie Levy in the release.

"We very much value the support of BN for the development of the Marathon Project. We are proud to be partners with BN and look forward to ongoing collaboration in the years to come.”

“This memorandum of agreement sets a strong foundation for us to work collectively with Gen Mining on a number of business opportunities," added Debi Bouchie, BN's director of operations.

"It facilitates a process to ensure that our First Nation can and will capitalize on economic opportunities during critical stages of the mine development. We look forward to the implementation and advancement of this MOA."

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