THUNDER BAY, ON, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, Webequie First Nation is expressing disappointment with junior mining company Noront Resources Ltd. The First Nation continues to patiently wait to develop a new agreement with Noront Resources Ltd. in order to move forward in its relationship with the company. Currently there is no existing agreement between the two parties for Noront's proposed mine development in the Ring of Fire. More importantly, Noront has stopped supporting Webequie First Nation in both its community engagement and environmental assessment processes. This type of support is necessary to help the community deal with Noront's mine development.
Webequie First Nation Chief Cornelius Wabasse says; "We are disappointed with the slow progress between Noront and our community. We need a process to guide negotiations for an eventual Impacts and Benefits Agreement that will need to be ratified by our community members. This process is normally outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding. Noront has stopped providing the needed resources to continue negotiations."
The exploration agreement that was in place for Noront's Eagle's Nest project has since expired. In order to move forward, Webequie First Nation members need to feel that their traditional lifestyle is being looked after and that community interests are protected through an agreement.
Webequie First Nation will once again try to conclude an MOU with Noront. In the meantime, Webequie First Nation's membership will be reviewing and reconsidering Noront's Eagle's Nest project.
Webequie First Nation is a growing Ojibway community located 540 km north of the city of Thunder Bay. Webequie First Nation is the closest community to the discovery areas in the Ring of Fire and it has over 700 community members, many of which are actively enjoying their traditional cultural practices and harvesting activities.
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