April 14th marked the graduation of 13 people from the underground mining program from NBCC Miramichi. 11 of these graduates came from 5 different Mi’kMaq communities in New Brunswick: Eel River Bar, Pabineau, Esgenoopetitj, Metepenagiag and Elsipogtog. The graduation ceremony hosted several dignitaries including Chief David Peter-Paul, Chief George Ginnish, Dr. Mark Cruise, president and CEO of Trevali Mining Corporation, the Honourable Minister Dr. Ed Doherty, as well as many other representatives from key partnerships.
All 13 of these graduates will work at Caribou Mines as it ramps up production for the next 6 years. This graduation is the result of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between Trevali Mining Corporation and the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs.
When Trevali first came to New Brunswick, they expressed their desire to work with the First Nation communities and to hire First Nation people. As a result of honesty, trust and communication the Assembly of First Nations Chiefs signed an agreement between Trevali and 9 different First Nation communities.
This group of miners is the second to graduate from the underground mining program. The selection process for this group began with 250 applicants and ended with 13 successful students. Terry Richardson, band councillor and ETO in Pabineau and liaison between Trevali mines and Pabineau First Nation, coordinated the efforts and stated that this graduation was the result of a combined effort of many organizations and people: the Department of Post-Secondary Education & Labour and JEDI provided the funding, NBCC Miramichi provided the training of the underground mining program, Trevali helped to bring the underground core training program from Saskatchewan for NBCC to deliver, and the instructor, Lincoln Keays, passed on his 36 years of mining experience to the eager students.
Trevali wants to continue to grow the relationship with the First Nations communities in NB. The Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) states that 20% of all those employed at the mine will be First Nation people. These current graduates will bring the total up to 17 First Nations people working in the mine, resulting in about 15% of employees currently from First Nation communities.
Trevali is pleased with these results so far and knows that the success of the mine depends on the success of the miners.
Please read the Press Release distributed by the Province of NB for more information on this exciting relationship between Trevali Mining and the First Nation communities in NB: http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/news/news_release.2015.04.0290.html