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Xstrata Nickel and Wahnapitae First Nation Sign Participation Agreement

by NationTalk on June 23, 20082121 Views

Sudbury, Ontario, June 19, 2008

Xstrata Nickel Sudbury Operations and the Wahnapitae First Nation (WFN) yesterday signed a long-term Participation Agreement that will serve as a foundation for a working relationship between the two parties focused on environmental protection, education and training, and community development.“This is a great day for our community,” said Wahnapitae First Nation’s Chief, Ted Roque. “This agreement provides for our involvement, input and a vehicle for a partnership that is beneficial to both Xstrata Nickel and Wahnapitae First Nation.”

“This agreement reflects the positive relationship between Xstrata Nickel and the Wahnapitae First Nation,” said Mike Romaniuk, Vice-President of Xstrata Nickel’s Sudbury Operations. “I am pleased to see our collaborative and constructive discussions have resulted in a mutually beneficial framework that will strengthen their community on a sustainable basis.”

Under the Participation Agreement, Xstrata Nickel will provide an annual contribution that will be allocated to environmental, educational and community projects and initiatives. Decisions about how the contributions are invested will be made on an annual basis by an Implementation Committee made up of representatives from Xstrata Nickel and Wahnapitae First Nation.

“While we felt there was already an excellent partnership between WFN and Xstrata Nickel, we did not have the written words of an agreement,” said Chief Roque. “We are delighted that our friends, colleagues, and community have been able to witness this signing and the formalization of our relationship. It was an important and emotional day for me as well as the community. It is wonderful to see how the negotiating teams were able to bring their colleagues together to work with us on this agreement. Equally, I am overwhelmed at the support of our community that has completely embraced this partnership. This is the very first formal agreement of this magnitude for the Sudbury camp and for our community. Now the stage is formally set to make both parties leaders in the Sudbury area.”

Initial activities under the agreement include participation of WFN in Xstrata Nickel’s high levels of environmental monitoring at both its Sudbury smelter and Nickel Rim South project. This is demonstrated through the funding of a full time Environmental Coordinator that will assist the Wahnapitae First Nation community with activities such as water sampling and reviewing and analyzing environmental data.

Xstrata Nickel will also support education and training initiatives within Wahnapitae First Nation, including scholarships and training opportunities. Community development activities will include assisting in the addition of community infrastructure, such as the planned community centre.

The agreement was signed by Mike Romaniuk and Chief Ted Roque yesterday at Wahnapitae First Nation’s reserve. Members of the Wahnapitae First Nation community attended the signing, and were joined by members of the agreement’s negotiating teams.

Wahnapitae First Nation is signatory to the Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850. It is listed as #11 on the Schedule of Reserves. ELEVENTH –Tagawinini and his Band, two miles square at Wanabitibing, a place about forty miles inland, near Lake Nipissing. The First Nation is an Ojibway Band and forms part of the Anishinabek Nation. The Indian Reserve #11 is located some 50 km north of Sudbury, Ontario, and is accessible by all season paved and gravel roads from the town of Capreol. The reserve land base is 2 miles by 2 miles on the north shore of Lake Wahnapitae.

Xstrata Nickel, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is one of Xstrata Group’s global commodity businesses, comprising five mines and processing facilities in Ontario and Quebec, Canada; a ferronickel mine and processing facility in Bonao, Dominican Republic; a high-grade sulphide mine and processing facility in Western Australia and a refinery in Kristiansand, Norway. Xstrata Nickel has a significant portfolio of growth projects, including Koniambo in New Caledonia, Nickel Rim South in Canada, Kabanga in Tanzania, Araguaia in Brazil and Sinclair in Australia. Xstrata Nickel is the world’s fourth largest nickel producer, with annual managed production of more than 116,000 tonnes of refined nickel. In Sudbury, Xstrata Nickel employs more than 1,800 people. For more information about Xstrata Nickel, please visit www.xstrata.com.

Media Contacts:

Doug Conroy
Manager, Human Resources
Xstrata Nickel
(705) 966-3411 ext. 6731
dconroy@xstratanickel.ca

Hans Matthews
Chair, Mineral Industry Working Group
Wahnapitae First Nation
(705) 858-4444
Aboriginal.mine@xplornet.com

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