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Osoyoos Indian Band signs deal on Rossland mine

The Osoyoos Indian Band has signed a co-operation agreement with the proponent of a proposed magnesium mine southwest of Rossland.

West High Yield Resources of Calgary and the band announced the agreement on the Record Ridge project this month. A news release said the band has been “actively engaged” in the project and permitting process and undertook its own review of the permit application.

“This agreement recognizes Osoyoos Indian Band’s sovereignty over our lands and represents our continued efforts to ensure that our lands are protected and managed in accordance with our wishes, values, and principles,” Chief Clarence Louie said in a release.

“This agreement assures us of our oversight of the project, thereby protecting our peoples’ environmental and economic interests. If managed correctly, this critical mineral resource could contribute to a strong and green economy.”

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President and CEO Frank Marasco thanked Louie and his council as well as advisor Byng Giraud “for their diligence and commitment.”

The mine is in the midst of a technical review to receive a permit from the provincial government. If approved, the mine would operate six months per year.

The project was the subject of open houses in Rossland this year, where critics said they were concerned about the operation’s effects on grasslands, ecosystems, and waterways in the area.

The company said it plans to remove up to 250,000 tons per year from the Record Ridge site.

The company said the claim is mostly magnesium and silica with small amounts of iron and nickel. Ore would be trucked to Trail, then sent to Vancouver and elsewhere for processing.

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