Editorial: Mine deal

Deal reached between Nisga'a and Avanti is another huge hurdle cleared for the region's economic future

The deal reached between the Nisga’a Lisims Government and Avanti for the former to share in the revenue from the latter’s planned molybdenum mine at Kitsault on the north coast is another hurdle cleared for the region’s economic future.

Avanti still has some heavy lifting to accomplish, chiefly lining up the final financing for its $1 billion mine plan, but it has accomplished the one thing absolutely necessary in today’s British Columbia – aboriginal acceptance of a project.

Without aboriginal participation in one form or another, major economic projects in B.C. simply won’t happen.

The deal also represents a crucial step for the Nisga’a and that’s taking part in wealth creation through revenue from the mine and for Nisga’a individuals, from employment at the project.

This is year 14 of the Nisga’a Final Agreement signed in 2000 and the Nisga’a Lisims Government badly needed to demonstrate that it can do an economic deal.

Next up for the Nisga’a is a conclusion of a deal being negotiated with the provincial government for a share of Avanti tax revenues, another vital step forward.

With hundreds of construction jobs scheduled over a two-year mine development plan and hundreds of jobs to be filled for the planned 14-year mine life, Nass Valley residents will have a solid and stable employment base.