SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT AND FIRST NATIONS
The Pikhuutaau Agreement provides for the collaboration and participation of the Crees with Critical Elements Lithium Corporation to ensure environmental monitoring during all phases of this project, whose construction should begin in 2020.
In March, the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) confirmed that the Environmental Impact Study for the Rose Lithium-Tantalum mining project, originally filed on August 2, 2017, was considered to be consistent. This was an important step for the authorization of the project. Critical Elements Lithium Corporation also signed an agreement with the Cree Nation of Eastmain and the Niskamoon Corporation for the Implementation of the Eastmain River Lake Sturgeon Spawning Ground Enhancement Project.
NECESSARY AND SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS
The outcome of this agreement reflects the efforts made by both sides, from the start of the project, to manage the relationship during the next stages of construction, operation and restoration of the mine. It is important that exploration companies, from the first steps of their project, be in contact with communities and people nearby, the objective being to provide the information necessary for a good understanding of exploration activities and to answer concerns expressed by the communities.
This agreement demonstrates the positive development of relations between the mining industry and the communities, and the willingness to work and collaborate on project development.
A GREAT ALLIANCE THAT WILL BENEFIT COMMUNITIES DIRECTLY
For the time being, the Crees and Quebec have agreed to share the costs of a feasibility study on phase 1 of the Grand Alliance, valued at 1.5 billion, which relates to the construction of a Matagami railroad in Waskaganish, infrastructure that four lithium mine projects that are currently at the environmental assessment stage would justify.
The “memorandum of understanding” provides in particular for the extension of the rail network north of Matagami, the construction of a deep water port at Whapmagoostui, the electrification of industrial projects, the training of local labor as well as the identification of new protected areas in the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James region.
The ambitious project proposed by the Cree nation is welcomed by the Government of Quebec and is in line with the Prime Minister's desire to deepen the collaboration initiated in 2002 by the Agreement concerning a new relationship between the government of Quebec and the Crees of Quebec, commonly known as the « Paix des braves ».
It is expected that this plan will extend over a period of thirty years to ensure the predictability and stability of economic and social development in the territory of Eeyou Istchee Baie-James and the rest of the province of Quebec.