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Tahltan-Nisga’a partner up on KSM mine project

Partnership formed to capitalize on jobs, contracts with massive KSM project
A model of the KSM mine shows the three desposits to be mined, from left to right: Kerr, Sulphuretes, and Mitchell

The Tahltan First Nation and Nisga’a Nation are partnering up on a new venture designed to capitalize on job and contract opportunities with the KSM gold-copper mine project in northwestern B.C.

The development corporations of the two respective neighbouring First Nations – the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) and Nisg̱a’a Growth Corporation – have formed a new entity called the Treaty Creek Limited Partnership.

The new partnership will focus on training, employment and contract opportunities specific to the KSM mine project. The TNDC is also partnering with government and industry to create a new heavy equipment operators program.

“The Tahltan Heavy Equipment Operator Training Program will address an industry problem, by combining equipment training in Tahltan Territory with on-the-job practical operating work experience and camp life exposure,” the TNDC said in a press release.

The Seabridge Gold (TSX:SEA,NYSE:SA) KSM mine is said to be one of the largest undeveloped gold deposits in the world. 

According to a feasibility study produced in June, 2022, the KSM complex has measured and indicated resources of 88 million ounces of gold, 19 billion pounds of copper, 414 million ounces of silver, and 742 million pounds of molybdenum. Seabridge estimates the initial capital cost to build the mine at $8.5 billion (US$6.4 billion).

The massive complex in northwestern B.C. would be mined in three distinct open pit operations, as well as some underground operations. Building it out would take a workforce of 1,550 annually over five years, and another 1,400 ongoing jobs would be created once the mine was in operation.

Seabridge is proposing to spend $225 million this year on early stage construction activities. The company said it awarded $175 million last year on 30 major contracts, $125 million of which went to “Indigenous affiliated businesses.”

“The KSM project also created more than 350 direct onsite jobs,” the company said.

“Our KSM project in the Golden Triangle of British Columbia has benefited greatly from the participation, advice and support of the Tahltan and Nisga’a Nations,” said Seabridge CEO and chairman Rudi Fronk. “We look forward to continued shared success as the project moves forward.”

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