Northisle Copper and Gold Inc. (Northisle) is pleased to announce that its 100 per cent owned subsidiary North Island Mining Corp. (“NIMC”) has entered into an agreement with Quatsino First Nation, which is the culmination of many years of mutually respectful engagement between the parties.
The agreement covers all NIMC mineral claims within Quatsino Territory and provides for an open, honest, transparent and fair process through which NIMC can conduct certain activities to determine the viability of developing mines, mills, or related facilities for the commercial production of minerals in a manner which recognizes Quatsino Rights (as defined in the agreement).
Quatsino Chief Tom Nelson stated that the agreement represents “a good first step and sets a strong foundation for our relationship with Northisle. We look forward to working with Northisle to further explore how we can work together to create a stronger future for our Nation today, and for the generations to follow, while standing firm in our duty as stewards of the land. The recognition of Quatsino rights embedded in the agreement will allow us to work together to continue to evaluate Northisle’s mineral projects within Quatsino Territory.”
Sam Lee, President and CEO of Northisle, commented, “We deeply appreciate the time and effort Quatsino First Nation Council and representatives have invested in building our relationship to date. We acknowledge that our work does and will continue to have an impact on the traditional and unceded territories of Quatsino and other First Nations on the North Island while we seek to further advance the opportunity that our project could bring in the area. This agreement is a significant step and provides a clear process for us to ensure mutual understanding of and support for our activities.”
He continued, “From day one, Northisle has proactively engaged with potentially impacted First Nations, and we continue to focus on working in a collaborative, consent-driven basis. We are extremely pleased to have progressed our discussions with Quatsino First Nation to this point and are confident that the Joint Implementation Committee provides the framework to make increasingly complex decisions together. With this agreement in place, we have a clear path to finalize our 2023 exploration programs, engage all communities fully, and rapidly move the North Island Project forward.”
Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation commented, “In the 21st century, successful resource development companies see First Nations’ rights as an opportunity, a chance to nurture B.C.’s world-class exploration and mining sector through respect, reconciliation and support for local communities. The respectful process Northisle followed in developing this collaboration with the Quatsino First Nation exemplifies the goals and objectives of the BC Regional Mining Alliance, of which Northisle is a member, and will help to position B.C. as a leader in the critical metals revolution.”
Northisle continues to execute on its surface exploration program. 2023 drilling programs are currently being finalized and will be advanced in collaboration with Quatsino through the Joint Implementation Committee (the “JIC”), which is anticipated to augment existing BC Government permitting and referrals processes.
A key feature of the Agreement is the creation of a JIC through which the parties will consider matters of mutual interest, including potential future activities by NIMC within Quatsino Territory.
In addition, the agreement provides for, among other things:
• confirmation of support by Quatsino for NIMC’s existing exploration authorizations;
• advance review of new authorizations by Quatsino, via the JIC, prior to submission;
• funding by Northisle to support community initiatives and to support the principle of “no net cost” to Quatsino for its consideration of NIMC’s activities; and
• the parties will work jointly to identify opportunities for business development and third-party funding.
The framework of the agreement is anticipated to be a framework for continued relationship and trust building between Northisle and Quatsino First Nation as the North Island Project continues to advance.
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