ONTARIO — Ursa Major Minerals of Toronto and the Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation have signed an impact benefit agreement covering Ursa's Shakespeare nickel project 70 km west of Sudbury.
The IBA is the first such agreement to be entered into by either Sagamok Anishnawbek or Ursa Major, and one of only a few in the Sudbury mining camp. In addition to commitments in the areas of employment and workforce development, the agreement provides for First Nation participation in environmental aspects of the project and establishes contract tendering processes that will help build business capacity within Sagamok during construction, operation and closure. Under the IBA, Ursa Major will provide financial contributions which can be used by Sagamok at its discretion to support community initiatives while the mine is in operation.
Signing of the IBA follows an interim measures agreement entered into by Sagamok and Ursa Major in September 2007. The interim agreement paved the way for the filing of a closure plan for the Shakespeare project with the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.
When the Shakespeare feasibility study was last updated in April 2008, it defined a probable reserve of 11.8 million tonnes grading 0.33% Ni, 0.35% Co, 0.02% Co plus precious metals. An additional indicated resource of 1.8 million tonnes grading 0.37% Ni, 0.41% Cu and 0.03% Co was also outlined. Test mining began shortly after, but it was suspended last October due to falling metal prices.
Ursa Major has an agreement to treat its Shakespeare bulk sample at Xstrata Nickel's Strathcona mine in Sudbury. Ursa says that the mining at the pit can be quickly restarted when nickel prices rise. See also www.UrsaMajorMinerals.com.