Support in the First Nation has been fragile since the signing of the original agreement with DeBeers in 2005. Agents of the group boycotted and went on strike for the solemn opening of the mine in 2008 and the mine road was blocked several times, including 2013. A number of joint management committees have been set up under the IBA to monitor the implementation of the agreement. Before making a deal with Attawapiskat, he said, De Beers made sure he provided enough money to the community to hire his own advisors. The Impact Benefit agreement, which earned Mining Magazine 2009 the “Mine of the Year Award,” lasted more than three years and covers everything from De Beers` right to cancel Attawapiskat`s land claims to what is served at Victor`s cafeteria. In November 2005, after three years of negotiations, a Comprehensive Impact Welfare Agreement (IBA) was reached between De Beers Canada and Attawapiskat First Nation. This agreement contains specific offsets and protocols to ensure that Attawapiskat First Nation is the primary beneficiary of the benefits available during the construction, operation and closure of the Victor Mine. Compensation includes positions such as training, employment, business opportunities and direct financial compensation. From the ATCO trailer, De Beers laid the foundation for expansion. The Victor Kimberlit is one of 16 diamond tubes in the Attawapiskat region. Last year, the company was again in contact with the Tomagatiks.
This time, De Beers negotiates with Clara`s younger brother, John Tomagatik. “They want to explore elsewhere in our country,” Tomagtik said. “But we don`t want to let them explore until we sign a new agreement [Impact Benefit]” De Beers and Attawapiskat have a rocky history when it comes to the mine that began construction in 2006. The community has ratified an impact-benefit agreement with the company, but there has also been opposition in the past in the form of protests and blockades. To learn more about our activities in the community, the Victor Mine was discovered in 1987. Since then, we have been working with the municipality through the different phases of exploration, advanced exploration, feasibility study, environmental assessment, construction from 2006 and exploitation from July 2008. At each stage of this development, a large number of agreements have been reached with the municipality to ensure its participation and local benefits. The 198-page agreement is a dense read, so dense that it has overwhelmed the community`s small, dilapidated tape office.
There is a dizzying series of commitments: from environmental management committees and joint management committees to staff councils, wildlife management plans, mining monitors and staff inventories. . . .