The Wei Wai Kum and We Wai Kai Nations signed an Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) with the Myra Falls Mine located near Campbell River.
The Myra Falls Mine, located in the territories of the We Wai Kai and Wei Wai Kum Nations, has been operating since 1966. The mine is located within the bounds of Strathcona Provincial Park (the mine preceded the park’s creation and is grandfathered), producing ore containing copper, lead, zinc, and gold. Concentrate ore is transported by truck to the Discovery Terminal located on the reserve land of the Wei Wai Kum Nation, where it is loaded onto a freighter for export.
Negotiations for the agreement commenced in 2020, and parties have recently agreed to final terms. The IBA captures the mutual commitment to consult and maintain an open, respectful and cooperative relationship through the remaining years of the underground operation. The IBA further provides for meaningful participation for the Nations through collaborative decision making through an environmental committee, training and employment, business opportunities, environmental protection and other means.
In addition to the IBA, a lease agreement relating to the Discovery Terminal – located on the reserve land of the Wei Wai Kum Nation - has been struck between the mine and the Wei Wai Kum Nation. Both agreements provide a framework for a mutually beneficial, long-term relationship with the Myra Falls Mine, and commits the Myra Falls Mine to socially and environmentally-responsible mining.
“The Wei Wai Kum are pleased to establish an IBA and an updated agreement regarding the terms of the Discovery Terminal lease. Having gone 57 years without an equitable agreement with this operating mine, these agreements are historic. The signing of this IBA is another step towards building a strong relationship with Myra Falls Mine; a relationship that will benefit our people and our communities. Additionally, the new Discovery Terminal lease agreement will allow our Nation to co-develop a Shared Decision-Making Protocol for environmental matters. After many of our members were originally displaced from this land many decades ago, it is a huge milestone for our people to now be planning towards future use. I could not be more pleased for our community,” said Chief Chris Roberts, Wei Wai Kum Nation.
“I am pleased that we have signed this historic Impact Benefit Agreement with Myra Falls mine; an agreement that ensures that our environmental concerns are respected while including economic benefits and provisions for contracting opportunities, training, and employment. The signing of this agreement is another step on our journey to develop a meaningful relationship with Myra Falls Mine, a relationship that will benefit our people and our communities,” said Chief Ronnie Chickite, We Wai Kai Nation.
“The Myra Falls Mine is committed to the principles of the United Nations Declaration of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), recognizes the impacts this project has and is proud to sign these agreements with both Nations on whose land our project is located. Both agreements lay the foundation for a strong partnership and shared benefits – including employment, economic opportunities and environmental protection, among others,” stated Adam Foulstone, General Manager, Myra Falls Mine.