NexGen Energy Ltd. (TSX: NXE) (NYSE: NXE) (ASX: NXG) is pleased to announce the signing of an Impact Benefit Agreement with the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan Northern Region 2 (“MN-S NR2”) and the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (“MN-S”), covering all phases of the Rook I Project, which hosts the 100% owned Arrow uranium deposit.
The signing of an IBA with the MN-S follows the signing of Benefit Agreements with each of the Clearwater River Dene Nation, Birch Narrows Dene Nation, and Buffalo River Dene Nation. These four Nations collectively represent the First Nation and Métis communities for which the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment assigned procedural aspects of the Duty to Consult for the Project to NexGen, and which have been identified by NexGen as the primary Indigenous Nations for consultation in consideration of the federal requirements of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
NexGen signs an historic IBA with the MN-S NR2 and the MNS. The Project is located within an area to which the MN-S NR2, as represented by the MN-S, assert constitutionally protected Aboriginal rights and interests, including Métis title, over certain lands and resources. The IBA defines the environmental, cultural, economic, employment, and other benefits to be provided to the MN-S NR2 and the MN-S by NexGen in respect of the Project, and to confirm the consent and support of the MN-S NR2 and the MN-S for the Project throughout its complete lifecycle, including reclamation. The Agreement was negotiated and developed out of a Study Agreement that was signed in 2019 between NexGen, the MN-S NR2, and the MN-S. The Study Agreement formalized engagement with the MN-S NR2 to identify potential impacts to Aboriginal rights and socio-economic interests and identify potential avoidance and accommodation measures in relation to the Project, whilst acknowledging the duty to consult remains with the Crown. Further, the Study Agreement provided the MN-S NR2 and the MN-S support to negotiate the IBA. Note, the IBA does not define or amend, recognize, affirm, abrogate, derogate from, or deny the existence of, or in any way limit any Rights of the MN-S NR2 and the MN-S, but rather is entered into in recognition of such Rights.
Leigh Curyer, Chief Executive Officer of NexGen, commented: “The signing of this agreement is a testament to the trust and respect that has been established between NexGen, the MN-S NR2 and the MN-S to work in partnership with the mutual objective of responsibly developing the Rook I Project. I would like to acknowledge and thank Leonard Montgrand, his board and the entire MN-S engagement team for their diligence and commitment toward finalizing this industry-leading Agreement alongside NexGen for the benefit of their membership.
“This is a significant moment in the Project’s history. Signing the fourth community and final Benefit Agreement to ensure sustainable generational impact through positive social, economic, and transparent environmental outcomes that will extend well beyond mine-dependent opportunities for all communities in the Local Priority Area, the Province of Saskatchewan, and Canada. I am extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of the NexGen organization and all four communities to collaboratively design and implement a new industry-leading approach and structure to genuine consultation and engagement. The template of which, we are offering to share Canada-wide to other communities and organizations collaborating on the successful development and implementation of projects.”
Leonard Montgrand, Regional Director of MN-S Northern Region II commented: “This agreement is a milestone in the history of the Métis Nation. It not only recognizes the Métis as a rights-holding people with strong ancestral connections to the land, but also provides a mechanism for continuous engagement on a breadth of important topics, including environmental and social concerns, human resources, and support for Métis businesses. After a century of our lands being developed without consideration of our people, it was important to come together as one Region and one Nation to change the status quo and become a partner in the development of the Rook I Project. NexGen’s commitments in the IBA will set a new standard for how industry recognizes Métis rights and engages with the Métis Nation.”
Glen McCallum, President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan commented: “I wish to congratulate Northern Region II and NexGen for all the work involved in resolving the IBA, a landmark agreement for the entire Métis Nation and an excellent example of what can be achieved when we work together. Over the past five years, the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan has had a string of transformative accomplishments many thought impossible, and to this list we are proud to add the IBA with NexGen. It is our understanding this will be, by far, the largest Métis impact and benefit agreement in Canadian history. Under the IBA, the Rook I Project will respect our large, vibrant Métis community and our rights and interests over the land, while providing much-needed resources and opportunities to Northern Region II. It will leave a substantial legacy that can continue after the mine has closed and the lands have been restored.”
NexGen Energy is a Canadian company focused on delivering clean energy fuel for the future. The Company’s flagship Rook I Project is being optimally developed into the largest low cost producing uranium mine globally, incorporating the most elite standards in environmental and social governance. The Rook I Project is supported by a NI 43-101 compliant Feasibility Study which outlines the elite environmental performance and industry leading economics. NexGen is led by a team of experienced uranium and mining industry professionals with expertise across the entire mining life cycle, including exploration, financing, project engineering and construction, operations and closure. NexGen is leveraging its proven experience to deliver a Project that leads the entire mining industry socially, technically and environmentally. The Project and prospective portfolio in northern Saskatchewan will provide generational long-term economic, environmental, and social benefits for Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world.
NexGen is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “NXE” and on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol “NXG” providing access to global investors to participate in NexGen’s mission of solving three major global challenges in decarbonization, energy security and access to power. The Company is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, with its primary operations office in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
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