Uranium giants Cameco and Areva have reached a $600 million deal with a northern Saskatchewan First Nation to support their mining operations and drop a lawsuit over land near the proposed Millennium project.

The collaboration agreement is with the English River First Nation, a band of more than 1,000 people who live on reserves about 600 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

The money is to flow to the First Nation over 10 years through contracts with band-owned businesses and wages to band members who would work at the mines and on community development projects.

There would also be direct payments to the community for education, health, sports and recreation programs.

The agreement, to be signed at a ceremony Friday, states the deal will be worth significantly more to the band if Cameco’s Millennium project goes ahead. The proposed underground mine, which still requires environmental approval, is estimated to contain more than 50 million pounds of uranium.

(courtesy of The Canadian Press)