In a historic first, the government of British Columbia, Canada has agreed to share taxes collected from a new mine with the aboriginal people who are the traditional land owners of the region where the mine will be located. The revenue sharing announcement was made on Tuesday.
According to the revenue sharing agreement, two Indian bands in the Kamloops, in south central, British Columbia will receive shares of the provincial taxes generated by the New Afton mine which will be operated by New Gold.
Royalties that the aboriginal people will receive could easily amount to tens of millions of dollars. Such funds will go a long way to alleviating problems such as poverty and other economic concerns
The project consists of a copper, silver and gold mine which is currently under construction and is located 10 km west of Kamloops, will be an underground mine, on the site of an old open cut mine.
The Minister of State for Mining, Randy Hawes confirmed that British Columbia had entered into the agreement with the Stk'emlupsemc of the Secwepemc Nation.
Keith Clark who is a lawyer with Lang Michener in Vancouver said that it was the first agreement of its kind in British Columbia. The governments of Yukon, Nunavut and the North West territories have used some revenue sharing models but none of them have ever put such an arrangement in place.