On June 15, 2017, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (Agnico Eagle) and the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) announced the formal signing of an Inuit Impact and Benefit Agreement (IIBA) for the Whale Tail Project.
The Whale Tail Project is an open-pit gold mining operation about 50 kilometres northwest of Agnico Eagle's Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake, Nunavut. This project will be a major contributor to the next phase of growth of the gold mining business global leader, which expects to receive the required permits for the development of the project by the second quarter of 2018. The Whale Tail Project will use existing mine infrastructure to begin open pit mining on the Whale Tail deposit, which is planned for the third quarter of 2019.
The IIBA signed by Agnico Eagle and KIA in parallel with this project entails for Agnico Eagle to pay $6.5 million to KIA, including $3 million for a community initiative fund, and resource royalties and fees to KIA and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. from the Whale Tail, Meadowbank and Meliadine projects; to invest $3.6 million in annual training programs with an additional $1 million if the 50% Inuit employment objective is not reached; and to allow preference points for NTI-registered companies.
The IIBA focuses on the protection of Inuit values, culture and language and helps Inuit access employment, training and business opportunities.
Agnico Eagle is also expected to invest $1.2 billion (US$) over the next three years in the Whale Tail and Meliadine projects in Nunavut; to operate two gold mines by 2019; to employ 2000 workers, of which approximately 700 will be Inuit; and to have $66 million per year in payroll reaching Kivalliq communities and $500 million per year in contracts for goods and services after 2019.
Fasken Martineau represented Agnico Eagle on all matters relating to the IIBA, with a team led by Jean M. Gagné, who acted as Chief Legal Negotiator, and that included Peter N. Mantas, Alexandra Logvin, Guillaume Saliah and Emmanuelle Stark (Secretary to the Negotiation Committee).