Company behind Sisson Mine signs agreement with Woodstock First Nation

The company behind the proposed Sisson mine project says it has signed a cooperation agreement with the Woodstock First Nation.

Northcliff Resources Ltd. made the announcement in a statement released Thursday morning.

Officials say the agreement provides the community with economic opportunities and financial benefits, helps facilitate regulator approvals and provides a long-term framework for communication and cooperation.

While the details of the agreement are confidential, company officials say it includes environmental protection provisions and financial benefits, as well as employment, training and contracting opportunities for members of the community.

Woodstock First Nation Chief Tim Paul said in a statement that community members voted in favour of the agreement during a community referendum "given the strong environmental protection provisions and economic benefits."

The news comes less than a month after the province announced it had reached an accommodation agreement with the province's six Maliseet First Nations, including the Woodstock First Nation.

As part of that agreement, the First Nations will receive a projected 9.8 per cent of provincial revenue generated from the metallic mineral tax.

That includes $3 million upon federal environmental approval, 35 per cent of the first $2 million of royalties received by the province each year, and 3.5 per cent of additional annual royalties.

Province completes review of draft Environmental Impact Assessment report

The two parties have jointly submitted the agreement to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, which the province expects should result in a decision on federal environmental approval "within months."

Northcliff Resources also announced Thursday that a review of the project's draft Environmental Impact Assessment report has been completed by the provincial Department of Environment and Local Government.

Details of the public consultation process will be announced by the department within the next month.

The $579-million open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine is expected to create 500 jobs during construction and 300 during the mine's 27-year life span.

Located northwest of Fredericton near the communities of Napadogan, Juniper and Stanley, the province says the project could result in $280 million in mineral royalties to the province and $245 million in tax revenue over 27 years.