This map shows the location of Barkerville Gold MIne Ltd.’s QR Mill and Bonanza Ledge Mine and proposed Cariboo Gold Project mine site in Wells, as well as the trucking route to take ore from the Cariboo Gold Project to the QR Mill. (Photo courtesy of BGM)

This map shows the location of Barkerville Gold MIne Ltd.’s QR Mill and Bonanza Ledge Mine and proposed Cariboo Gold Project mine site in Wells, as well as the trucking route to take ore from the Cariboo Gold Project to the QR Mill. (Photo courtesy of BGM)

Barkerville Gold Mines and Lhtako Dené First Nation commit to working together

A project agreement sets the framework for strengthening relationship, providing opportunities

Barkerville Gold Mines is strengthening its relationship with and committing to providing opportunities for the Lhtako Dené Nation through a new agreement.

Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM), the wholly owned subsidiary of Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. and future 100-per-cent subsidiary of Osisko Development Corp., has entered into a life-of-project agreement with the Lhtako Dené Nation (LDN) to develop the Cariboo Gold Project in Wells.

“The Project Agreement achieves our common goal to provide Project-related opportunities and benefits for current and future generations of the LDN people and reflects our ongoing commitment to continually strengthen and expand our relationship,” states an Oct. 16 news release from BGM.

The agreement was made after negotiations from LDN, BGM and, built upon their initial Engagement Protocol from 2016 and their subsequent Relationship Agreement, which was also established in 2016, according to the release.

Specific terms of the Project Agreement remain confidential, but BGM says it puts in place a framework for BGM and LDN to work together during all stages of the Cariboo Gold Project, including the terms under which the Project will be developed with the consent and support of the LDN.

“The Cariboo Gold Project is located within the territory LDN have traditionally used and occupied,” Lhtako Dené Chief Cliff Lebrun said in the release. “The protection of the land, water, resources and our way of life has guided our negotiating team. This agreement confirms our relationship with BGM, to ensure we will work together to provide meaningful training, employment and business opportunities for LDN people. It also includes financial provisions that will enable the LDN to participate in the opportunities that the Project provides.”

The Cariboo Gold Project is a proposed underground gold mine in Wells that is advancing through permitting. It will produce an estimated 4,750 tonnes of gold ore per day and have a mine life of 16 years. The company says a feasibility study is on track for completion in the second half of 2021, and full permits are expected in 2022, followed by a short construction period.

“BGM is proud of the positive outcome we have achieved in this agreement,” said Chris Pharness, vice-president of sustainability and external relations of BGM. “It has been an honour and a privilege to be welcomed in the community and to hear the hopes and aspirations that LDN leadership and members have for their people. Our core belief as a company is based in reciprocity and the understanding that projects of this scale require mutually beneficial relationships, opportunities and outcomes to succeed. Our agreement is a key underpinning of that philosophy and an example of what respectful, honest dialogue can achieve.”

The mine site is on the old Cariboo Gold Quartz mine site by the Jack O’ Clubs Lake, and the ore would be trucked to the QR Mill via Highway 26 and the 500 Nyland Lake Road

“Over the last five years, we have learned much about the traditional values and territory of the LDN,” says Chris Lodder, president of BGM and future president of Osisko Development Corp. “With this agreement, we aim to strengthen our partnership and increase our understanding of the LDN’s traditions and culture. On behalf of BGM and Osisko Development Corp., we are very proud of this long-term relationship we have entered into with the LDN and the mutual benefits it will bring.”

READ MORE: Quesnel council eager to work with Barkerville Gold Mines

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