Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 2, 2011
For the first time in the history of Nunavut, the Inuit will collect a royalty payment for their land's minerals.
Production drills in the Goose pit at the Meadowbank gold mine last September. Mine proponent Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., has cut the first royalty cheque for the mineral title. - photo courtesy Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.
And thanks to a recently passed resource revenue sharing policy, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) – the default designated Inuit association – knows what will be done with the 12 per cent net profit interest royalty from Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.'s Meadowbank gold mine.
"We established the 12 per cent, and now all of a sudden Agnico-Eagle is cutting a royalty cheque," said Terry Audla, CEO of NTI. Agnico-Eagle paid $2.3 million to the federal government, which is to pass it on to NTI.
Since the ratification of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in 1993, mining and exploration companies have been required to pay a minimum $12 royalty for every $100 of net profits from mineral titles on Inuit-owned land.
Meadowbank is the first mining project to reach production since, and prior to the resource revenue policy being passed by NTI at its Nov. 23 annual general meeting, there was no plan in place as to how the Inuit association would handle mineral title royalty payments.
"It's a major issue for us based on the fact that all three regions and NTI have all agreed, are all on one page, for the mechanisms to be put in place," Audla said.