Wallbridge Mining Company Limited (TSX: WM, OTCQX:WLBMF) (“Wallbridge” or the “Company”), the Cree Nation of Waskaganish, the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi, the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) and the Cree Nation Government are pleased to announce the signing of a Pre-Development Agreement (“PDA”). Under the terms of the PDA, the parties have agreed to promote a cooperative and mutually respectful relationship concerning the exploration and pre-development activities of Wallbridge at the Company’s Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend Properties in Northwestern Quebec.
The PDA has been developed on the basis of ongoing and continuous communications between the parties which have allowed them to build a true and strong partnership in regard to the exploration activities of Wallbridge. This ground-breaking agreement notably provides for enhanced Cree participation in the business and employment opportunities flowing from the Fenelon Project as well for the implementation of a jointly developed Cultural Awareness Program and the establishment of a cultural centre at Fenelon to sensitize workers to Indigenous realities and culture and to promote a working environment characterized by mutual respect.
The signatories to the agreement have agreed to support and facilitate the exploration and pre-development activities of Wallbridge and to cooperate in the preparation of all necessary environmental and social impact assessment studies relating to the Fenelon project. The PDA also contemplates the completion of an Impacts and Benefits Agreement upon the demonstrated economic viability of any project along the Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend.
Marz Kord, President & CEO of Wallbridge stated:
“We are extremely pleased to have signed this pre-development agreement with our Cree Nation partners. Since our entry into Quebec in late 2016, we have worked together in the spirit of mutual respect, trust and cooperation. The continued relations with our Cree partners can generate substantial long-term economic and social opportunities for our respective stakeholders. This foundational agreement marks an important milestone in our relationship and we look forward to building on this success as we advance the Fenelon project and our other properties on the Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend.”
“Although the economic development of our territory must always be balanced with the preservation of our Cree traditional way of life and the environmental protection of our lands, Wallbridge and the Crees have established a new standard for the way in which such development should take place”, stated Mandy Gull-Masty, Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee). “Sustained and meaningful communication lies at the heart of this success story which has already resulted in substantial employment and revenues for our Cree communities prior to today’s agreement being signed.”
“The benefits that our communities have gained thus far in our relationship with Wallbridge have been significant. It is appropriate, however, to now formalize this relationship.”, said Chief Annie Mapachee-Salt of the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi, “To have made the progress that we have made thus far has required that we have a willing, an understanding and an honourable partner. It is important for us to acknowledge today that Wallbridge has shown itself to be such a partner. The company has worked hard to fully understand the Cree role in the territory and to ensure that what happens on a day-to-day basis fully reflects this understanding.”
Chief Clarke Shecapio of the Cree Nation of Waskaganish stated:
“This Agreement demonstrates what can be achieved by mining companies through meaningful engagement and collaboration with Cree communities. It also highlights the milestones that can be reached when two Cree First Nations work together to protect and advance Cree interests on our territory. Our relationship with Wallbridge and the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi has not only generated substantial economic benefits, but has also allowed for the inclusion of important Cree environmental and conservation concerns into the way in which mining operations are carried out.”
Wallbridge is focused on creating value through the discovery, acquisition, development, and production of gold from a portfolio of advanced exploration stage assets located in established mining jurisdictions within Canada. Wallbridge’s flagship project, Fenelon, is located on the highly prospective Detour-Fenelon Gold Trend in Northern Abitibi, Quebec. A mineral resource estimate completed in 2021 validated the multi-million-ounce gold potential of Fenelon as well as Wallbridge’s nearby Martiniere Property, incorporating a combined 2.67 million ounces of indicated resources and 1.72 million ounces of inferred resources. Fenelon and Martiniere, located within a 910-square-kilometre exploration land package controlled by Wallbridge, have the potential to be developed into mines, and are close to existing power and transportation infrastructure. Wallbridge also has interests in several copper, nickel and platinum group metal properties, including a 17.8% interest in Lonmin Canada Inc.
Further information about Wallbridge can be found in the Company’s regulatory filings available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company’s website
Wallbridge Mining Company Limited
Marz Kord, P. Eng., M. Sc., MB
President & CEO
Tel: (705) 682‒9297 ext. 251
Victoria Vargas, B.Sc. (Hon.) Economics, MBA
Investor Relations Advisor
The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) is the political body that represents the approximately 20,000 Crees or “Eeyouch” (“Eenouch”). The Council is constituted of twenty (20) members including: the Grand Chief and Deputy-Grand Chief elected at large by the Eeyouch, the Chiefs elected by each of the nine (11) communities, and one (1) other representative elected by each community.
Flora Weistche, Political Attachée
Office of the Grand Chief
Waskaganish (Cree for Little House) is a Cree village of about 2,000 people at the mouth of the Rupert River on the south-east shore of James Bay in the Eeyou Istchee territory in Northern Quebec. Formerly called Fort Rupert, the location is one of three original Hudson’s Bay Company posts on James Bay, the other two being Fort Albany on the west shore, and Moose Factory on the south.
Washaw Sibi was recognized as the tenth Cree Nation at the 2003 Annual General Assembly of the Grand Council of the Crees / Cree Nation Government. Incorporated as a non-profit organization since 1997, the Cree Nation of Washaw Sibi, acts as the governing body who represents the interests and the rights of its members.