Tata Steel Minerals Canada has signed a “co-operation agreement” with the NunatuKavut Community Council in relation to the company’s direct shipping ore project in Labrador West.
Tata Steel Minerals Canada is a joint venture of Tata Steel (with 80 per cent interest) and New Millennium Iron Corp. (20 per cent).
According to a statement issued by NunatuKavut: “the agreement covers environmental protection, employment, business opportunities including financial benefits. It also commits Tata Steel Minerals Canada to make every reasonable effort to ensure that contractors hired to work on the project also comply with the agreement where warranted.”
The two parties have been in negotiations for “many months” prior to the agreement being reached, the statement notes.
“We are very happy to sign this agreement with NunatuKavut Community Council which attests our desire to continue building positive relations with the communities,” Rajesh Sharma, CEO of Tata Steel Minerals Canada states, in the news release.
“This is in line with Tata Group’s philosophy of considering the community as an integral part of its business. The signing of this agreement is an important milestone in the journey of Tata Steel Minerals Canada.”
The company reached an agreement with IOC earlier this year, wherein that company's marketing arm will take on sale of Tata’s direct shipping ore material, allowing shipments to begin this year.
As The Telegram reported in June, the NunatuKavut Community Council already has a “partnership agreement” with Alderon Iron Ore.
That agreement details interaction between the company and the aboriginal group as Alderon’s Kami mining project moves forward. It also an agreement the aboriginal group not try to shut the project down.
“Companies know they have to deal with our real concerns,” said Todd Russell, president of the NunatuKavut Community Council, on the latest deal.
“This is another indication that we can do so in an air of mutual respect,” he said. “It’s about building right relationships, and this agreement will work to achieve just that.”
The NunatuKavut Community Council, centred in southern Labrador, does not have a recognized land claim.