Stornoway Diamond entered into an ''Impacts and Benefits Agreement'' for its Renard diamond project with the Cree Nation of Mistissini and the Grand Council of the Crees. This new agreement, designated the "Mecheshoo Agreement," was signed by representatives of Stornoway and the Cree parties at a ceremony held in Mistissini, Quebec earlier today in the presence of community members.
The agreement will govern the long-term working relationship between Stornoway and the Cree parties during all phases of the Renard diamond project. It provides for training, employment and business opportunities for the Crees during project construction, operation and closure, and sets out the principles of social, cultural and environmental respect under which the project will be managed. The Mecheshoo Agreement includes a mechanism by which the Cree parties will benefit financially from the success of the project on a long-term basis, consistent with the mining industry's best practices for engagement with First Nations communities.
Matt Manson, Stornoway's president, said, "Today's signing of the Mecheshoo Agreement builds upon a long record of good faith dialog and mutual respect between Stornoway and the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to establishing strong social acceptability for the Renard diamond project and confirms the Crees' support for responsible mine development. As we move forward with our permitting and project financing activities, we can look forward to developing an important, long-lived diamond mine at Renard that will deliver meaningful benefits to both Stornoway's shareholders and our local community partners."
Matthew Coon Come, the Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee), stated, "The Mecheshoo Agreement is again an example where, with the cooperation and participation of the Crees, mining development can take place and prosper in Eeyou Istchee. This agreement marks the beginning of a cooperative and fruitful relationship between the Crees and Stornoway, a relationship based on respect for Cree rights and environmental and economic sustainability. In accordance with the principles of our Cree Nation Mining Policy, the Crees and Stornoway have ensured that our traditional rapport to the land remains intact."