On September 20, 2022, Newmont’s Musselwhite mine in northern Ontario commemorated 25 years of commercial production. Located in Treaty 9 on the traditional territory of North Caribou Lake First Nation, the mine hosted several hundred guests, including mine employees, Indigenous leaders and community members, government leaders and business partners.
Musselwhite was one of the first mines in Canada to enter into a comprehensive agreement with First Nations communities. Musselwhite has formal agreements with North Caribou Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, Windigo First Nation Council, Wunnumin Lake First Nation, Kingfisher Lake First Nation, Shibogama First Nation Council and the Mishkeegogamang First Nation.
Since the commencement of the Musselwhite agreement in 1992 and the first commercial production in April 1997, Musselwhite mine has produced more than 5 million ounces of gold. In 2021, Musselwhite employed 737 people and invested $320,000 dollars into the nearby communities.
“In the six months that I have joined the team I’ve learned first-hand that Musselwhite is an outstanding example of how sustainable and responsible mining rooted in partnerships with our Indigenous communities can create shared prosperity and success,” said Mark Kiessling, General Manager, Musselwhite Mine.
At the celebration, Frank McKay, CEO of Windigo First Nation Council offered his remarks. “As we look toward to the future and another 25 years, let us learn from the lessons of the past. If we continue to work cooperatively and towards common interest, communicate honestly and with transparency, and respect each other for the knowledge and strength each of our parties bring to the table, I know we will face and conquer all challenges ahead. Migwech.”
Musselwhite’s 25-year achievement was applauded by Newmont leadership:
“I’d like to extend my congratulations to all employees, Indigenous community members and partners that were involved with this 25-year milestone of the first gold bar pour at Musselwhite in 1997,” said Newmont’s Senior Vice President for North America, Mark Rodgers. “Musselwhite demonstrates the value of the Northwestern Ontario mining jurisdictions and reinforces the commitment made by all to safe and responsible mining.”
The Ministry of Northern Development and the Minister of Indigenous Affairs commended Musselwhite and Indigenous communities:
“I’m pleased to congratulate Musselwhite mine and Newmont on an incredible 25 years of sustainable mining and fostering of historical partnerships,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, MPP for Kenora-Rainy River. “Our government recognizes the value that these mines deliver to our northern and Indigenous communities, which is why we continue to work hard to find impactful ways to support the industry. Mining has delivered pivotal economic success in Ontario and together we’ll continue building on our established strengths and setting the right conditions to ensure that the sector’s best days lie ahead.”
Ontario’s Minister of Mines, George Pirie, sent a video message and said “Congratulations to the Musselwhite Mine on the tremendous accomplishment of 25 years of commercial production. It has been a critical element in the mining industry in the north which in turn is a key element of Ontario’s economy and one that will continue to grow. “
The Mayor of Thunder Bay, Bill Mauro, was in attendance for the celebration and offered his congratulations, “I want to congratulate the ownership, management and staff of Newmont Musselwhite as you celebrate 25 years of commercial production. Your contributions to the City of Thunder Bay and many other communities in the North is substantial. You were one of the first companies to develop strong relationships with Indigenous Communities, and partners, leading to shared wealth. Your leadership in this regard is a model for many and contributes to building a stronger and healthier Northern Ontario.”