NorZinc, Acho Dene Koe enter transportation agreement for Prairie Creek mine

The Prairie Creek silver-zinc-lead mine project. Credit: NorZinc

NorZinc (TSX: NZC; OTC: NORZF) has signed a transportation corridor benefits agreement with Acho Dene Koe First Nation regarding the transportation of mineral concentrate from its Prairie Creek project through the First Nation’s traditional territory. This agreement sets the basis for the long-term working partnership and benefits for Acho Dene Koe and its members and its businesses.

Acho Dene Koe First Nation’s traditional territory and waters span three jurisdictions: B.C., Yukon and Northwest Territories. Its main community is currently settled in Fort Liard. The concentrate from the Prairie Creek mine will pass immediately by Fort Liard on NWT Hwy7 (commonly referred to as the Liard Highway) and will continue on Highway 77 within the First Nations traditional territory in B.C.

Acho Dene Koe and its economic development corporation (ADK Holdings) will participate in the benefits of the project, particularly through training, employment, business and contracting opportunities related to the transportation of concentrate.

“The formalization of yet another benefits agreement with our First Nations partners and its economic development corporations demonstrates and solidifies the support and recognition of the positive impacts of the project in this northern region and brings us one step closer to moving Prairie Creek forward,” Rohan Hazelton, president and CEO of NorZinc, said.

NorZinc’s Prairie Creek property is located within traditional Dene territory in NWT. The project consists of the mine and its surrounding land and access road. In 2019, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board and Parks Canada issued all necessary permits for the company to build and maintain an all-season road from Liard Highway to the mine site.

Earlier this month, NorZinc signed an environmental agreement with the Naha Dene Band and Liidlii Kue First Nation Band for the project as well as the access road, building on the impact benefit agreements previously signed with these First Nations communities.

As the company had stated, Prairie Creek will have a “significant economic” impact on the local communities as well as the NWT and federal government, bringing in total revenue over its lifetime of $8 billion.

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