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Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation takes over ore/waste rock transport at Vale Totten

Vale Canada has awarded Sagamok Anishnawbek’s Z’gamok Construction company the ore and waste rock contract at its Totten copper-nickel-precious metals mine, in Sudbury, Ontario.

The agreement, which came into effect on June 1, will enable greater control over the contract, create more job opportunities and revenue for Sagamok Anishnawbek, the First Nation’s Chief, Nelson Toulouse, said.

Back in 2006, the First Nation embarked on a process to negotiate an Impact and Benefits Agreement (IBA) with Vale Canada for the Totten mine. The IBA negotiations process was completed with the signing of an IBA on June 22, 2012.

“Since that time, the IBA has created jobs in underground mining, trucking and haulage, janitorial and snow removal services,” Toulouse said.

“Strong partnerships were created that would provide Sagamok with an opportunity to build capacity and training,” he added. One of those partnerships was with TBell Transport in Nairn, Ontario. Sagamok and TBell Transport entered into an agreement to have TBell undertake the ore and waste rock contract on its behalf from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2019. The agreement also described an understanding that Sagamok would take control of this when it expired.

As a result, on June 1, the Sagamok Anishnawbek officially took over the ore and waste rock contract at Totten.

Toulouse continued: “In order to ensure success in completing our new responsibilities, Sagamok Council created a new company that will undertake the ore and waste rock haulage contract.” This led to the inception of Z’gamok Construction, a company wholly-owned by Sagamok Anishnawbek, which has the sole responsibility to complete the terms and conditions in the contract.

“This will mean more employment for our community members; therefore, require more equipment and trucks to complete the terms and conditions of the contract. Z’gamok Construction LP will also have the mandate to pursue other contract opportunities that flow from the IBA,” Toulouse said.