Over 11,000 hectares secured for caribou habitat and restoration in central B.C.
Federal and provincial governments, First Nations and Artemis Gold collaborate on innovative Caribou Mitigation and Monitoring Plan
Vancouver, British Columbia, April 20, 2023 - A groundbreaking plan developed in collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation, the Ulkatcho First Nation and Artemis Gold Inc. (TSX-V: ARTG) (“Artemis” or the “Company”), will see 11,000 hectares secured for 50 years in central B.C. for caribou habitat. In addition, Artemis Gold Inc. will contribute more than $2.7 million in funding over time toward caribou habitat restoration initiatives as part of the company’s Caribou Mitigation and Monitoring plan.
Artemis owns the Blackwater Mine project, a gold and silver mine under construction that is located on the eastern edge of the Tweedsmuir caribou range. The population of Tweedsmuir caribou has dwindled over the past few decades due to several factors. The land securement is located in and around Capoose Mountain, adjoining Tweedsmuir Park, in a provincially designated high elevation ungulate winter range for caribou habitat with known recent and regular caribou use. The securement commits the company to not explore or develop its mineral tenures in the securement area1. The ungulate winter range designation also precludes logging, effectively eliminating the potential for industrial activity in the area.
The funding component of the plan will be used for caribou habitat restoration initiatives led by the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation and the Ulkatcho First Nation. The two Nations plan to collaborate with the provincial and federal governments to identify and implement priority caribou habitat restoration projects. The plan also commits the company to work closely with the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation, the Ulkatcho First Nation and the federal and provincial governments on caribou monitoring initiatives throughout the region.
“It is a privilege to partner and work with the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation, the Ulkatcho First Nation, and the provincial and federal governments on a plan that will help accommodate the growth and rehabilitation of the Tweedsmuir herd,” said Steven Dean, Chairman and CEO of Artemis Gold Inc., “We support the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation and the Ulkatcho First Nation in their plans to lead this important work, and view the provincial and federal government support for this initiative as a meaningful step towards reconciliation.”
The development of the Caribou Mitigation and Monitoring plan is the first time a company, the provincial government and First Nations have collaborated to secure mineral tenures for a period of time in connection with caribou offsetting. It is also the first time an order under the Environment and Land Use Act has been used to ensure the preservation and maintenance of caribou habitat by securing mineral tenures.
“Respectful relationships between industry and First Nations are foundational to reconciliation efforts and economic prosperity for all British Columbians,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “This initiative combines Indigenous traditional knowledge with industry resources to secure and steward 11,000 hectares of land together with funding for caribou habitat and restoration programs. It is a meaningful example of the potential that can be realized when responsible resource projects proceed in our province.”
“The recovery of endangered caribou herds is incredibly important, and the complex nature of this work requires deep partnership between the province, First Nations and industry,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship. “Artemis Gold’s decision to defer development in 11,000 hectares of critical habitat is a good example of what can be achieved when these partners work together in a respectful way that benefits both ecosystem health, caribou recovery and economic activity.”
“Our connection to the land, the water, the mountains and the Caribou are all very sacred. We truly believe the Caribou Mitigation and Monitoring plan we developed with Artemis Gold Inc, Ulkatcho First Nation and the federal and provincial governments is precedent setting, and we look forward to implementing the plans and seeing the Caribou flourish again,” Council, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation.
“Working with Artemis Gold, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, and the provincial and federal governments to address the decline in Caribou has been an important collaboration,” said Chief Lynda Price of the Ulkatcho First Nation. “There has always been a cultural connection between Caribou and the Ulkatcho First Nation, and we see success as protecting the Tweedsmuir and Itcha Ilgachuz herds and increasing our local herd populations.”
Watch here for more information about the multiparty collaboration that led to the Caribou Mitigation and Monitoring plan, and what it means for the Lhoosk'uz Dené Nation and the Ulkatcho First Nation:
1 The securement area includes a mineral deposit defined by the previous owners of the Blackwater Project, but which mineral deposit is located outside of and does not form part of the reserves and resources for the Blackwater Project as defined by Artemis.
About Artemis Gold Inc.
Artemis Gold Inc. is a well-financed, growth-oriented gold development company with a strong financial capacity aimed at creating shareholder value through the identification, acquisition, and development of gold properties in mining-friendly jurisdictions. The company’s current focus is construction of the Blackwater Mine project in central British Columbia approximately 160km southwest of Prince George and 450km northeast of Vancouver. The project is one of the largest capital investments in the Bulkley-Nechako, Fraser-Fort George and Cariboo regions of B.C. in the last decade. The first pour of gold and silver from Blackwater Mine is expected H2 2024 and the mine is expected to be in production for a minimum of 22 years. Artemis trades on the TSX-V under the symbol “ARTG”. For more information visit: artemisgoldinc.com
Jeremy Langford, FAUSIMM, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed, and approved the scientific and technical information in this news release.
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