TSX-V-listed Canada Nickel Company (CNC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taykwa Tagamou Nation (TTN), regarding the financing of CNC’s mine fleet for the Crawford nickel/cobalt sulphide project, in Ontario.
Under the terms of the MoU, TTN will seek favourable financing terms to participate in the financing of all, or a portion of, the heavy mining equipment fleet required for Crawford’s operation.
Training and associated employment opportunities will also be available to TTN where specialised maintenance and operation is required for the equipment and where that equipment is financed or owned in whole or in part by TTN.
This is the second agreement reached between CNC and TTN, after TTN in December 2020 arranged access to capital so that CNC can own and develop the electrical transmission assets that will be necessary to supply Crawford with cost-effective and reliable power.
TTN’s operating company Transmission Infrastructure Partnerships has been working with CNC in discussion with the Independent Electricity System Operator and Hydro One. Together, these organisations have taken the first steps to connect the Crawford mine to the power grid by launching a systems impact assessment study.
CNC chairperson and CEO Mark Selby says TTN is welcomed as its partner in this initiative and acknowledges TTN’s ongoing commitment to protect and enhance the land and resource-based economy within their traditional territory.
“Canada Nickel actively looks for ways to increase involvement in Crawford’s development from the local Indigenous communities through innovative partnerships that provide opportunities for mutually beneficial business ventures.”
He adds that this initiative has the potential to substantially reduce initial capital requirements and improve CNC’s ability to finance Crawford and advance it to development.
“Combined with our previously announced MoUs with TTN and Glencore, it also creates the potential for a much lower capital cost start-up.”
TTN chief Bruce Archibald says the community is proud of its continued innovative approach to business development partnerships. “TTN has been working diligently to address the financing, capacity, scale, policy limitations, jurisdiction questions and project timeline challenges to initiate, construct and put into operation development partnerships within our traditional territory.”
He adds that CNC continues to set a precedent by ensuring First Nation communities that have the financial backing to reduce capital start-up costs are not just consulted with, but rather, are true business partners that will benefit their communities and the northern Ontario economy.
TTN councillor and economic development officer Derek Archibald adds that the MoU complements TTN’s economic development strategy. “We want to move away from the rigid limitations of impact benefit agreements to having a true seat at the table, where opportunities are continually created.”
Not only is this the most effective way to see the Crawford project move ahead at a lower capital cost, but it also ensures we are full participants with developments occurring in the TTN traditional territory over time, he says. “With CNC and this MoU, we are leaving our lands and economy in an even better place for the next seven generations of our nation.”
Canada Energy, Northern Development and Mines Minister, and Ontario Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford says that, with TTN’s leadership in the region, the Crawford partnership is well on its way to produce responsibly-sourced, greenhouse-gas emissions-free nickel and cobalt and deliver meaningful training and career opportunities for local community members.