Matawa RoFATA Students Engage with Premier Gold
THUNDER BAY – Premier Gold was visiting students in the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance (RoFATA). The importance of providing links between the mining companies and First Nations communities is key. Premier Gold was talking about the Hardrock deposit which is near Geraldton.
The economic study is to put in an open pit mine that will have a 15 year life. Some infrastructure will have to be moved including Highway 11, part of the Golf Course. The proposed open mine pit will be about 1.4 km long 0.8 k wide and about 460 metres deep.
There will be no activity within 30 metres of waterways with the mines.
The OPP station, and the Husky on Highway 11 will be moved.
RoFATA students are taking training to find careers in mining. While Premier Gold is not currently a part of the Ring of Fire Aboriginal Training Alliance, the skills that the students are gaining in the KKETS training are transferable to other opportunities if students choose other career paths.
Matawa First Nations’ nine communities are receiving the training programs, which include:
|Remote Camp Cook
|Pre-Trades Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic
|Remote Camp Support
|Pre-Trades Construction Craft Worker
|Underground Common Core
|Underground Diamond Driller Helper
|Heavy Equipment Operator
Students learned about how the Hardrock project is about, and that with the estimated project life, many of the students could be finding their working career at the mine. A student who is twenty-five years old, would be in their mid fifties by the time the project is starting to wind down.
Job Potential in Geraldton
There will be 340 jobs in the mining operation. 65 in General Administration. 70 in processing, 205 in the Open Pit. That included the drillers, loader and shovel operators, and mechanics.
The indirect employment is estimated to another 700 jobs. Those would be the spin off jobs in Geraldton. Those would include retail shops, hotels, restaurants, and companies which would supply the mine and the miners and their families.
Premier Gold is looking toward training opportunities to for new employees and training could be offered onsite, but at this stage nothing is certain.
About 4.4 kilometres of Highway will have to be moved for the mine to work.
The tailings will go to the south of the site. The baseline study showed that the area choosen has a good amount of bedrock already in place.
The Highway will be moved slightly north. And the current highway will then head into the pit.
The process to get to this point has been two years in the making.
Premier is looking toward possible Premier Gold Board Approval. The project to bring the mine to production including construction is estimated at $400 million.
Using optimistic timelines, the construction is targeted to start in 2016, and production to start in mid-2017.
Aboriginal, community and stakeholder engagement is ongoing, and expected to last until mid-2016 and beyond.
Planning engagement is currently ongoing. Once the mine construction starts, engagement is expected to continue.
“There is so much potential here, as afterward there could be underground mining as well,” students were told..
What is RoFATA?
RoFATA Environmental Monitor Program is a 24-week training program that will be delivered via Matawa’s own Four Rivers Environmental Services Group, and it is scheduled to commence in spring 2014. As with all RoFATA programs, employment through KKETS partner Noront Resources is the ultimate (and necessary) goal.
The other five First Nations community-based RoFATA Mining Readiness Programs that are scheduled to be delivered in the following Matawa communities include: Ginoogaming First Nation (starting Monday January 20), Long Lake #58 First Nation (starting Monday January 27), Nibinamik First Nation (starting Monday January 27), Aroland First Nation (starting Monday February 3), and Neskantaga First Nation (to start in early February). By April 2014, all nine Matawa communities will have delivered a community-based program, and including the Thunder Bay delivery, there will be close to 160 graduates of the Mining Readiness Program.
The eight-week Mining Readiness Program program typically involve a roster of sixteen clients. The students learn about job readiness in the mining industry, with specific focus on the forthcoming Ring of Fire developments and KKETS partnership, with upcoming employment opportunities highlighted.