American mining company Newmont Corporation operating in northwestern B.C. is buying mining claims around the tiny village of Iskut for the Tahltan First Nation’s conservation and stewardship initiatives.
The deal is to buy the claims from junior mining company Skeena Resources but is contingent upon Skeena Resources first buying the properties and other holdings belonging to another junior, QuestEx Gold and Copper Ltd.
Newmont will get northern properties of Castle, Coyote, Heart Peaks, Moat and North ROK.
Out of these parcels of land, North ROK and Coyote properties totalling 21,000 hectares – located south of Iskut – will be made available for the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative.
“We are acquiring the land in an effort to address concerns raised by the Tahltan Nation,” Newmont President and CEO Tom Palmer said, adding, “The mining claims around Iskut are not being purchased for development or their mineral potential.”
Iskut band has concerns about its small town being encroached by mining activities in the area which already has giants like Newcrest Mining operating Red Chris and Brucejack mines. New players would further crowd out Iskut in the mineral claims field, a concern which was communicated in a notice to Newmont back in 2021 by the Tahltan Central Government.
Buying these parcels of land and setting it aside for conservation was one way to create a buffer zone and alleviate this issue.
“We are committed to developing a world class mining jurisdiction in the region which includes sustainable resource development while protecting and conserving lands under the Tahltan Stewardship Initiative that are important to the Tahltan Nation and the Iskut community,” Palmer added.
Newmont does not have any operating mines on Tahltan traditional territory but does have properties on which it continues to explore for their mining potential. In 2021, Newmont acquired the Saddle North deposit through the acquisition of GT Gold Corporation.