Q&A: Fortune Minerals NICO Project Socio-Economic Agreement

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Q: What employment targets does this agreement set?

A: The agreement states that Fortune Minerals must make best efforts to employ NWT residents, including by contractors, at the following levels:

  • 60% of the total employment on average during operations
    • 50% Indigenous
  • 35% of the total employment on average during construction
    • 50% Indigenous
  • 70% of the total employment on average during closure
    • 50% Indigenous

Q: Are there hiring priorities set out under the agreement?

A: Yes — the priorities are as-follows:

  1. Tłı̨chǫ, Yellowknives Dene, and North Slave Metis Alliance members
  2. Indigenous persons residing in the Northwest Territories
  3. NWT residents who have been living in the NWT for at least six months before being hired
  4. All NWT residents or those who are relocating to the NWT for employment
  5. Non-resident workers

Q: Are there local purchasing targets?

A: Yes, spending on NWT businesses should make up:

  • 35% of the total annual value of goods and services associated with construction.
  • 60% of the total annual value of goods and services purchased associated with operations.
  • 70% of the total annual value of goods and services purchased associated with closure.

Q: What about for Indigenous businesses?

A: There is a priority set out for purchasing as well. It is:

  1. Indigenous Businesses in Tłı̨chǫ, Yellowknives Dene, and North Slave Metis Alliance communities
  2. NWT Businesses
  3. Other Canadian Businesses

Q: Are contractors expected to hire based on priority as well?

A: Yes, the company is expected to have contractors make best-efforts to live up to the hiring priorities set out in the agreement.

Q: Are there any initiatives within the agreement that will provide benefits beyond the mine?

A: Yes, there are several measures within the agreement to address holistic wellbeing for communities affected by the project including:

  • Human resource development
  • Social legacy investments
  • Cultural wellbeing
  • Business development
  • Community engagement
  • Education programming

Q.  Why are some targets lower compared to other Socio-Economic Agreements?

A.  With three mines already operating, the agreement needed to take into account the limited size of the local workforce. For example, many who could be employed in positions available at the NICO Project are likely already employed by the mines already operating.

It is also worth noting that the targets are actually higher than others, specifically those at Gahcho Kué, because they anticipate the closing of Diavik Diamond Mine in the early-2020s.

That said, the GNWT will continue to pursue programs and services to attract and retain a strong local workforce to alleviate limitations. The hiring priorities are intended to address that evolution.