The Williams Lake Indian Band announced today that has entered into an agreement with Gold Fields Horsefly Exploration Corporation with respect to exploration activities at the 68,000 hectare Woodjam property near Horselfy.
“We’re extremely pleased to conclude this agreement with Gold Fields,” says WLIB Chief Ann Louie. “The Woodjam claims cover a huge part of WLIB’s traditional territory of critical significance to our people and it is good to be building a relationship with one of the major companies conducting exploration in that area.”
The WLIB/Gold Fields agreement addresses a variety of issues, ranging from communications, permit processes and environmental management, through to employment and contracting opportunities and community investment. The agreement envisions the possibility of a more comprehensive arrangement between WLIB and Gold Fields should the Woodjam project proceed through to the construction of a mine.
“We understand that economic activity is going to occur within our traditional territory, and our desire is to be involved in that development from the outset, so we know it is occurring in a manner which is environmentally responsible, respects the history and traditions of our people, and offers some economic opportunity for our members,” Louie says. “We credit Gold Fields for being proactive, and for entering into an arrangement with us before their project became too advanced. This is the type of commitment to First Nations rights and First Nations issues that we need to see more of in the mineral exploration industry.”
In March 2011, WLIB announced the signing of a protocol agreement with Spanish Mountain Gold, setting out the basis for a relationship between the parties with respect to the proposed development at Spanish Lake.
In January 2012, WLIB announced that is had concluded a participation agreement with Mount Polley Mining Corporation to resolve issues in relation to Mount Polley Mine, which has been operating in WLIB’s traditional territory since 1997.