De Beers Canada Inc. (De Beers), Mountain Province Diamonds and Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation have announced that an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) has been entered into with the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation for the proposed Gahcho Kué diamond mine, a joint venture of De Beers (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%). De Beers is the Operator of the Gahcho Kué Project.
The IBA puts in place a framework for De Beers, as Operator, and the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation to work together over the life of the mine, with a particular focus on participation by the Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation in the opportunities that the construction and operation of the mine will provide.
“If we work together with the other First Nations, then we will be powerful,” said Chief Felix Lockhart. “This agreement ensures that we have our families out on the land, using our land. We are shaping resource development the way we want it, according to First Nations. We are going to be monitoring it.”
The IBA provides both respect for the culture and certainty that training, employment and business opportunities are made available to Lutsel K’e Dene members, including financial provisions necessary for ensuring fair participation in opportunities the project will provide.
“Responsible and sustainable development is a priority for De Beers,” said Glen Koropchuk, Chief Operating Officer for De Beers in Canada. “Our relationship with Lutsel K’e is important to us and this Impact Benefit Agreement confirms our commitment to work together for the benefit of Lutsel K’e Dene First Nation members as we advance the Gahcho Kué Project and build a mine.”
Gahcho Kué will employ close to 700 people during the two years of construction and approximately 400 people during its operational phase. Gahcho Kué is located 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The agreement was signed in Lutsel K’e on Thursday, July 17, 2014.