A pioneering First Nation-led gold exploration and sustainable energy company has moved beyond having a social licence to operate by forging deeper bonds with remote communities.
When Chris Angeconeb took the helm as AurCrest Gold’s president and CEO in March 2017, he was determined to build upon the good faith relationships the company had fostered with First Nation communities in northwestern Ontario, and then take it a step farther.
When Angeconeb joined the Toronto junior miner as a director in 2011, his knowledge of mining was limited. A handful of his uncles and cousins had worked in the industry and he’d received an earlier indoctrination while taking a course at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie taught by MiningWatch co-founder Joan Kuyek.
His home community of Lac Seul First Nation, an expansive reserve of three communities located 40 kilometres west of Sioux Lookout, was suddenly flush with millions of dollars after settling an historic flooding grievance and winning a major timber trespass court victory.
Lac Seul invested $500,000 of that money in AurCrest, a small junior mining company operating in their traditional lands.
Lac Seul took a 9.9 per cent ownership stake to become the company’s third largest shareholder. Angeconeb was appointed by the band council to serve on the board of directors. AurCrest already enjoyed a good reputation in the community.
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