Nak’azdli First Nation – Government of British Columbia – Mt. Milligan Mine – 2012- Economic and Community Development Agreement

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Basic information



Community party

Nak'azdli First Nation

Company signatory




Project phase covered



National government: signatory?


Local government: signatory?


Was the agreement required by law?



Agreement ends after fulfillment of the conditions in Art. 7

Date of contract signature





Mt. Milligan

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Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The parties to the economic and community development agreement are Nak’azdli First Nation represented by its Chief and Council (Nak’azdli), and the Queen in Right of British Columbia represented by the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation (the government) (Preamble). The purposes of the agreement are to (i) confirm understandings between Nak’azdli and the government about how the government will meet its legal obligations to consult with Nak’azdli concerning the Mt. Milligan mine project; and (ii) share resource revenue received by the government from the project with Nak’azdli so that Nak’azdli may pursue activities that will enhance the social and economic wellbeing of its members (Art. 2.1). The mining site for the project is located within Nak’azdli territory over which Nak’azdli asserts aboriginal rights and title. Nak’azdli members and their ancestors have used and continue to use the land and resources in the vicinity of the mine project (Art. 2.2). The government and Nak’azdli share a commitment to strengthening relationships and address Nak'azdli's socio-economic needs, which needs a relationship based on enhanced collaboration, effective working partnerships, and mutual respect and accountability (Art. 2.3(a)). Nak’azdli is committed to ensuring long-term environmental protection of the Nak'azdli territory while working with the government to ensure that economic benefits from Nak’azdli Territory address Nak’azdli’s socio-economic needs (Art. 2.3(c)). The government and Nak’azdli acknowledge how Nak’azdli’s support of the project through this agreement assists in realizing contributions to the local economy for the benefit of Nak’azdli and other communities in the region (Art. 2.3(d)). The government has the right to terminate the agreement after the effective date of the agreement if the government and Nak’azdli have not negotiated and executed a comprehensive consultation protocol applicable to all prospective Crown and Crown-authorized activities affecting Nak’azdli territory which trigger the duty to consult with Nak’azdli, including activities which relate to the project (Art. 8.7(a)). Nak’azdli had the opportunity to obtain financial, legal, tax, or other professional advice for the agreement (Art. 4.1(b)). The government and Nak’azdli have undertaken a shared commitment to strengthening relationships on a government to government basis and will utilize the agreement to develop a successful long-term working relationship over the Mt. Milligan mine project (Preamble).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    If any proposed government actions relating to the project may impact on Nak’azdli’s aboriginal rights, the government will consult with Nak’azdli to identify potential ways to mitigate or accommodate the proposed actions, not including any direct financial payment other than those established in the agreement (Art. 5.1(a)). The government has to consult its actions that may adversely affect Nak’azdli’s Section 35 Rights. The consultation involves: (i) the government providing Nak’azdli with advance written notice of the proposed government action and relevant information about the proposed activity; (ii) Nak’azdli being granted reasonable time to prepare its views; (iii) the government giving Nak’azdli a reasonable opportunity to present its views and to suggest how potential impacts could be mitigated, minimized or otherwise accommodated; (iv) the government undertaking a full and fair consideration of any views presented by Nak’azdli; and (v) the government providing Nak’azdli notification of the decision taken and how the views presented by Nak’azdli were taken into account in that decision (Art. 5.1(b)). Nak’azdli or the government may request that both parties review the consultation and accommodation process and determine whether to amend it (Art. 5.1(e)). If a dispute arises, either the government or Nak’azdli may give notice of the dispute to the other (Arts. 5.9, 9.4). The government and Nak’azdli must meet and attempt to resolve the dispute through unassisted collaborative negotiation within ten working days of the notice being provided (Art. 9.5). The government and Nak’azdli will attempt mediation before any court proceedings concerning the dispute (Art.9.7). If the government and Nak’azdli are unable to resolve a dispute through mediation, the dispute will be resolved through arbitration, and the decision is final and binding (Art. 9.9). The government and Nak’azdli may also choose other appropriate approaches to assist in a dispute (Art. 9.10).

  • Fiscal obligations: content

    The government must pay Nak’azdli annually, 12.5% of the difference between the tax, penalty, and interest paid by a mine operator, and the tax, penalty, and interest refunded to a mine operator, only if the amount paid exceeds the amount refunded (Art. 3.1(c)). If the amount paid is less than the refunded to the mine operator, the government will off-set 12.5% of the difference between the two amounts from any subsequent payments the government is required to make to Nak’azdli in following fiscal years (Art. 3.1(c)). The government will send payment statements annually to Nak’azdli (Art. 3.1). Nak’azdli will establish and maintain a trust to receive payments (Art. 3.2(a)). The government will hold back 5% of the annual payments to Nak’azdli, in case of a refund becoming required. The government will pay a balance or a portion of the amount held back when there is no further refund to the mine operator (Art. 3.3).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    Nak’azdli will use the annual project payments for community initiatives that Nak’azdli designate as priorities for socio-economic development, including education, culture, housing, infrastructure, health, economic development, and governance capacity. Nak’azdli is not required to use all of the payment in a given year and may use the outstanding balance for future initiatives (Art. 5.3). Within two years of the agreement's date, Nak’azdli will prepare a statement identifying community priorities and outline goals and specific outcomes they intend to achieve over the next three years (Art. 5.4(a)). Within 90 days of the annual payment receipt, Nak’azdli must publish a report on how the funds have helped the communities achieve their community priorities (Art. 5.4(b)).

  • Transparency or confidentiality

    Nak’azdli and the trust must keep confidential information marked "confidential" by the government, including financial statements and information relating to tax payments under the Mineral Tax Act. Nak’azdli and the trust will not disclose such information to any other person unless required to do so by law (Art. 3.4(a)). Nak’azdli and the trust may disclose confidential information to their advisors, including legal, financial, tax and other professional advisors if those advisors agree to keep the information confidential (Art. 3.4(b)). The government is not required to provide confidential information under the Mineral Tax Act unless the mine operator provides written consent to share such information (Art. 3.4(c)). Nak’azdli will have the right to disclose the annual payment amount to its members each year (Art. 3.4(d)). The arbitration process and all its related proceedings will be confidential (Art. 9.9(b)).