WHITESAND First Nation – Whitesand First Nation and Impala Canada celebrated the signing of a Community Benefits Agreement that provides a framework for ongoing, continued partnership, communication, and consultation between the two groups in support of a sustainable future for Lac des Iles (LDI) Mine, located 90 minutes Northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario.
“I am pleased with the agreement we have reached with Impala Canada, and I look forward to continued partnership for the benefit of the Whitesand and LDI communities. The well-being of my members and the prosperous future of Whitesand First Nation are my priorities, and this agreement contributes to both,” said Chief Allan Gustafson, Whitesand First Nation.
“Our relationship with Whitesand First Nation is important to LDI’s success. I was pleased to celebrate the signing of our Community Benefits Agreement that articulates how we can create a positive future for our communities, together,” said Tim Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Impala Canada. “The agreement creates new opportunities for shared prosperity and economic development, all while recognizing one another’s rights, heritage, and culture.”
The Community Benefits Agreement formally outlines how Whitesand First Nation rights will continue to be recognized and respected by the operation and lays the foundation for future socio-economic benefits for the community. Some of the benefits arising from LDI include participation in employment, education and training, and business and contracting opportunities.
Underlying the Agreement is fundamental respect for the Whitesand First Nation heritage and culture, and encouragement to integrate traditional Indigenous knowledge and scientific information in the continued operations and environmental management of LDI. The mine produces palladium, a critical mineral used in catalytic converters, which reduces harmful emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles.
About Whitesand First Nation
The Whitesand First Nation is an Ojibwa First Nation Originally located along the northwest shore of Lake Nipigon near Mount St. John, and near the Whitesand River, which gives name to the group. After flooding in the 1940s, a new reserve was eventually negotiated and located immediately north of the community of Armstrong with a land base of 615 acres.
About Impala Canada
Impala Canada is the owner and operator of the Lac des Iles Mine, located 90 minutes northwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario. In operation for nearly 30 years, the LDI Mine is one of only two known pure palladium sources in North America, with a workforce of over 1,000 employees and contractors.