Webequie and Marten Falls First Nations are considering a revenue sharing proposal with KWG Resources that could create an equal partnership to develop the Ring of Fire.
The agreement would transfer KWG's mining claims into a limited partnership provided the two First Nations closest to the chromite deposit commit to an equal financial investment. The company have offered the communities $40 million in loans to create the fund.
KWG president Frank Smeenk said the mining, railroad feasibility study being conducted by China Railway FSDI, and proposed processing facility would all largely be based in Webequie and Marten Falls' traditional territories.
“The shares of the General Partner managing the limited partnership would be equally held by KWG as to half, and Webequie and Marten Falls jointly, as to the other half. Both shareholders would appoint an equal number of Directors but the Chairman of the Board would be a KWG nominee.”
The parties have also agreed to discuss at a later date the opportunities for equity participation in KWG subsidiary Muketi Metallurgical LP, which is prosecuting two chromite-refining patent applications in Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, and the United States..
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle said it was too early for him to speculate on the proposed agreement in its early stages.
He said any revenue-sharing agreement between the province and First Nations as a part of the consultation and accommodation fiduciary responsibility would be in addition to the proposed agreement between the communities and the company.
"It's a little hypothetical but if I can frame it around our $1 billion commitment to infrastructure, there are many First Nations that have impact agreements with a number of companies," he said, pointing out there are 84 existing revenue-sharing agreements between companies and First Nations that are not connected to the Crown's consultation process.
"Anything related to how we end up reaching an agreement on resource revenue sharing, this would be independent of that process."
Representatives of Matawa First Nations were unavailable for comment.