Revenue-sharing agreement: Teck & Lower Nicola Indian Band

by Keith Powell
Picture of Highland Valley Copper Operations.

Highland Valley Copper Operations is a copper and molybdenum operation located in south-central British Columbia. — Photo: Teck

Members of the Lower Nicola Indian Band will receive direct economic benefits from Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations thanks to two new agreements – one with the provincial government and one with the mining firm.

Under a revenue-sharing agreement with the Province, the Lower Nicola Indian Band will receive a share of the mineral tax on the mine. This includes an initial payment of $557,000 and annual payments based on mineral tax received by the Province.

The agreement also establishes a collaborative consultation process between the Lower Nicola Indian Band, the B.C. government and Teck for decisions associated with the mine, paving the way for enhanced relationships.

The Lower Nicola Indian Band is the final Nlaka’pamux band to sign a revenue agreement for Highland Valley Copper Operations. In total, 15 Nlaka’pamux bands are benefitting from revenue-sharing agreements related to the copper mine.

Through a separate agreement between Lower Nicola Indian Band and Teck, the band will work with the company to develop employment and business opportunities and environmental and cultural heritage planning.

Sharing mineral-tax revenue ensures First Nations are partners in resource development. To date, more than $26 million in direct mineral-tax revenues from new mines and major mine expansions through mine-related revenue-sharing agreements has flowed to First Nations throughout the province.

These agreements are part of the Province’s commitment to reconciliation with First Nations. This includes ensuring more nations are involved in economic opportunities that make their communities and the rest of the province stronger.

Key Quotes:

Aaron Sam, Chief, Lower Nicola Indian Band –

“This is real progress for our Nation. It makes sure we share in the revenue from Highland Valley Copper, but also means we are more closely involved in contracting and hiring and in environmental planning and control. It’s an important part of building a strong future for Lower Nicola Indian Band.”

John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation –

“These agreements not only bring significant economic benefits to the Lower Nicola Indian Band, they also create a more collaborative relationship between the community and Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations going forward; a relationship that will ensure greater opportunities for community members into the future.”

Jackie Tegart, MLA for Fraser-Nicola –

“The entire Lower Nicola Indian Band community will benefit from this partnership with Highland Valley Copper Operations. It is great to see local industry, such as Teck Resources engage with local First Nations to ensure they receive their fair share of resource revenues from the land.”

Greg Brouwer, general manager, Teck Highland Valley Copper Operations –

“Teck is committed to creating real benefits for First Nations and communities in the areas where we operate. We welcome this relationship agreement between Highland Valley Copper and the Lower Nicola Indian Band that will facilitate the incorporation of Nlaka’pamux values, culture and resources into our annual planning and support continued economic growth and opportunity for years to come.”

Quick Facts:

  • Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Operations is approximately 50 kilometres southwest of Kamloops at Logan Lake and lies within the traditional territory of the Nlaka’pamux Nation.
  • The mine is projected to continue production until at least 2026.
  • To date, B.C. has signed 24 mining-related revenue sharing agreements with 40 First Nations. 

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