Thunder Bay

Long Lake 58 First Nation to vote on proposed deal for 'generational project'

A northwestern Ontario First Nation in the Greenstone area has reached a tentative agreement with an area mining company over a project that community leadership says will be "generational."

Agreement-in-principle reached between First Nation, Greenstone Gold over Hardrock project, needs ratifying

Members of Long Lake 58 First Nation will vote on a proposed agreement with Greenstone Gold in June. (Long Lake 58 First Nation / submitted)

A northwestern Ontario First Nation in the Greenstone area has reached a tentative agreement with an area mining company over a project that community leadership says will be "generational."

Members of Long Lake 58 First Nation are scheduled to vote in June on the agreement-in-principle reached between the community's leadership and Greenstone Gold Mines over its Hardrock project.

Hardrock is a proposed gold mine, located along the Highway 11 corridor, about 275 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay. The project site is on the traditional territory of Long Lake 58, which sits between Geraldton and Longlac.

In a written release, the First Nation said it wants "to acknowledge the positive working relationship" with the mining company and that officials are announcing "a significant milestone" in that relationship.
Greenstone Gold Mine's Hardrock Mine project is an open pit gold mine south of Geraldton, in northern Ontario. The mine is expected to have a 15-year life and employ about 450 people. (Greenstone Gold)

The First Nation said many details of the agreement-in-principle are confidential but it stands to ensure enhanced environmental protection, opportunities for business and employment training and financial benefits.

The community has a history of reaching agreements over the Hardrock project, officials said, including a pair of field exploration agreements and a memorandum of understanding signed in 2014.

The agreement-in-principle has the support of the community's chief and council, officials said; ratification votes for the First Nation's members are scheduled for June 12 in Thunder Bay and June 13 in Long Lake 58.