Mineral Exploration

Spring 2015

Mineral Exploration is the official publication of the Association of Mineral Exploration British Columbia.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/468124

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Page 21 of 47

22 S P R I N G 2 0 1 5 Photograph : New Gold Inc . R ealizing they can benefit from partnering with First Nations, many mineral exploration and mining companies are start- ing to develop Aboriginal engagement strategies. Some companies, however, are new to the idea, and many of them don't know where to begin. "The development of respectful First Nations relationships will benefit everybody in the long run," says Glen Wonders, vice-president, technical and government affairs, of AME BC. "Open, respectful communication is practical and it works by initiating effective, early and frequent engagement that leads to a good relationship, which can lead to a more formal relationship down the line." Wonders says mineral explorers need to understand in detail the actual needs and aspirations of a First Nations community, and not what they think the communit y needs. "Successf ul engagement is a 'win' all around for everyone," Wonders says. "First Nations have the opportunity to express their interests and concerns, and identify opportunities, and the mineral explora- tion company gains greater certainty." Two recent examples of successful Aboriginal engagement can be found right here in British Columbia: New Gold Inc.'s Blackwater project and AuRico Gold's Kemess Underground development project. Aboriginal engagement TWO MADE-IN-B.C. EXAMPLES OF HOW TO DO IT RIGHT By Peter Caulfield Local employment: Michael Peeman of the Ulkatcho First Nation working at the Blackwater project core shack.

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