Juli Abouchar, a partner at Willms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLP, was legal counsel to Richview Resources Inc. in successful consultations for mining exploration for the Thierry Mine Project. On April 15, 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Richview and the Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation. The agreement, reached through a process of mutually respectful consultation, sets a framework for exploration and potential development. For details please read the press release below.
Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation and Richview Resources Sign Memorandum of Understanding
OSNABURGH, ONTARIO and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) - Mishkeegogamang - Chief Connie Gray-McKay of the Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation and Sol Prizant of Richview Resources Inc. (TSX:RVR), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to an ongoing relationship between the First Nation and Richview with respect to the company’s exploration activities and the Thierry Mine Project.
Richview is the sole owner of the past-producing Thierry Mine property in northwestern Ontario, adjacent to the Town of Pickle Lake. Richview is a Canadian company committed to responsible development of natural resources while respecting local environmental, community and social interests.
The MOU establishes the foundation for a positive and mutually beneficial relationship between Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation and Richview. These measures include training and employment, ongoing communication, financial contribution to the community and other benefits. In addition, the First Nation and the company have agreed to negotiate an Impact Benefit Agreement should the project proceed, as currently planned, to the operational stage.
“We are very pleased with this agreement.” said Chief Gray-McKay, “For too long the riches from our traditional lands have been taken without benefit to our community. Richview Resources’ commitment in this MOU to share benefits with Mishkeegogamang is the principled approach we have been seeking and will now expect from all resource companies working in our traditional lands.”
Sol Prizant, President and CEO of Richview Resources said “Richview is committed to working in cooperation with the First Nation in all phases of our Project. Not only is it the right thing to do, we believe that it is simply good business to have First Nations as supporting partners in developments in lands they have used and occupied for thousands of years. This MOU represents the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship with the Mishkeegogamang community.”
The Parties have also agreed to conduct an assessment of the archaeologically and culturally significant sites, and areas of traditional use within the project area through a Traditional Ecological Knowledge Study. The study will identify sites of cultural importance which will be respected and protected during the exploration activities.
David Masakeyash, who acted as a head negotiator for the First Nation of this MOU commented, “These negotiations were successful because we listened to each other and addressed the concerns and objectives we each brought to the table. With this MOU and the commitment to enter an Impact Benefit Agreement if the project moves to the operations stage, the company’s success is now important to us and we will support them to achieve that success.”
“This is a great example of people working together to forge a partnership within Ontario’s mining community.” said Juli Abouchar, legal counsel to Richview during the negotiations.
Negotiations toward an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) will commence upon a decision from the Richview Resources Board to move from exploration to production. The MOU outlines the agenda and the process for conducting the IBA negotiations. Topics will include employment, training, business opportunities and financial compensation among others.