Start-up of new First Nations mining company announced

Posted on Wednesday February 05, 2014

SNC-Lavalin and Cementation Canada in conjunction with the Morris Group and four First Nations have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to create the First Nations Mining Corporation (FNMC).  The First Nations participating in FNMC included Flying Post, Lac Seul, Mattagami and Wahgoshig.

The goal of FNMC according to the press release is to form partnerships with Aboriginal communities to promote and develop engineering, construction and environmental services for mining companies in Ontario.  It aims to strengthen mining and First Nations links and facilitate the training of Aboriginals and the growth of Aboriginal capabilities in the mine supply and service sector.

“We are very pleased with this new partnership, which is a solid model for sustainable development in First Nations communities,” said Stephen Lindley, Vice President Aboriginal and Northern Affairs for SNC-Lavalin.  “Our partners have worked diligently with Aboriginal leadership, companies and organizations across Canada to create business opportunities, which contribute to sustainable social and economic development throughout Ontario’s Aboriginal communities.”

“Cementation Canada has been actively working with many local First Nations communities across Northern Ontario and we are pleased to be part of FNMC,” said Eric Kohtakangas, Vice President Operations for Cementation Canada.  “We believe the FNMC platform will allow us to continue to provide training and employment opportunities to our First Nations partners, while delivering successful projects to our valued clients.”

SNC-Lavalin is an engineering and construction company, which was founded in 1911.  It has several offices across Canada and in more than 40 other countries.  The company is involved in projects in more than 100 countries.  

Cementation Canada is an underground mine contracting and engineering company with its headquarters in North Bay.  It is involved in mine development projects and mineral production services on many sites around the world.  The Morris Group, which began in 2004, is a Sudbury based enterprise.  It specializes in: trailer, camp leasing and logistics; workforce housing, camps and site services; modular construction, manufacturing, buildings and housing; labour supply and management; and, safety training.

Mining is the largest private sector employer of Aboriginals in Canada.  Aboriginals account for 7.5% of the national mining workforce and are 3.8% of the Canadian population.  In Ontario, Aboriginals account for 9.7% of the province’s mining workforce.  FNMC appears destined to increase the First Nations participation rate in the mining industry in Ontario and across the country.