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KFN inks business deal

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Monday, May 07, 2007

HAY RIVER RESERVE - K'atlodeeche First Nation has signed a business agreement with Tamerlane Ventures Inc., the company planning to dig a test mine about 45 kilometres east of Hay River.

The agreement outlines job and business opportunities for the First Nation in the test mine project.

Chief Alec Sunrise said the agreement is about building relationships.

"There are no guarantees," Sunrise added. "If there are opportunities, we'll have a chance to be involved."

The agreement, which was worked on for about a year, was announced in a Tamerlane news release on April 16.

"It's basically a commitment from Tamerlane to work with the community and bring employment and training opportunities to people on the reserve interested in coming to work," said David Swisher, vice-president of the company.

Swisher added there will also be opportunities for businesses on the reserve.

In late March, Sunrise wrote the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board in support of Tamerlane's bid to get regulatory approval for the project.

"The chief and council are satisfied that Tamerlane Ventures have taken all the necessary steps to ensure the protection of the lands and natural resources surrounding the mine site," Sunrise wrote in the March 27 letter. "Furthermore, the chief and council are satisfied Tamerlane Ventures Inc. have met all the licensing requirements for this project and for the current and future business and economic opportunities between the parties."

Tamerlane Ventures is in discussions for agreements with two other aboriginal groups - Deninu Ku'e First Nation, in Fort Resolution, and the Metis Councils, in Fort Resolution and Hay River.

The company wants to mine a one-million-tonne lead/zinc sample on the west side of Buffalo River.

The test would assess technology, such as a freezing process to prevent water from flowing into the mine.

Construction would last 12 to 15 months and the mine would operate another 12 to 15 months.

It would require between 50 and 70 workers to build and between 100 and 140 people to operate.

If the test is successful, Tamerlane is looking to mine a further 70 million tonnes in 34 known deposits on the Pine Point property, east and west of the Buffalo River.