Two northern Alberta First Nations have closed the deal on the purchase of a 49 per cent interest in a Suncor Energy oilsands storage facility for $503 million.
The acquisition by the Mikisew Cree and Fort McKay First Nations was first announced a year ago but was conditional on the First Nations securing funding.
The project, known as the East Tank Farm Development, is located about 30 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, Alta. According to a Suncor news release, the facility is a bitumen storage, blending and cooling operation handling production from the Fort Hills oilsands mining project.
Fort McKay now owns 34 per cent of the development while the Mikisew Cree First Nation owns 15 per cent. The groups will receive revenue from the investment for the next 25 years.
Indigenous investment in the oilsands has been criticized by some First Nations and environmental groups. In 2014, former Mikisew Cree Chief Steve Courtoreille claimed contaminants flowing downstream from the oilsands were making his people sick. But current Chief Archie Waquan told the CBC revenue from the Suncor project will help fund much-needed programs.
For the rest of this article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/northern-alberta-first-nations-close-oilsands-deal-1.4416534