**Updated** Province, First Nations reach agreement regarding Sisson Mine project

A proposed open pit tungsten and molybdenum mine in central New Brunswick is one step closer to reality.

The province announced Friday that it has reached an accommodation agreement with the province's six Maliseet First Nations – Kingsclear, St Mary’s, Madawaska, Oromocto, Tobique and Woodstock – concerning the development of the Sisson Mine.

As part of the 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.

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."

An April 2016 report by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded the proposed mine is "likely to result in significant adverse environmental effects on the current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes by Maliseet First Nations."

Vancouver-based Northcliff Resources, which co-owns Sisson Partnership, has said the project would create about 500 jobs during construction and 300 during the mine's 27-year life span.

President and CEO Chris Zahovskis said Friday that finalizing the agreements is a "big step" in having the $579-million project move forward.

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.