Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel and LLRIB Chief Tammy Cook-Searson. Supplied photo.

The Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) and Cameco Corporation have signed a collaboration agreement.

The agreement reaffirms the band’s support for Cameco’s mines at Key Lake, Rabbit Lake, MacArthur River and Cigar Lake.  It will also address each party’s commitment to protecting the environment and also confirms LLRIB will continue to benefit from jobs, business opportunities and community investment from the company which will go into a trust fund.

Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says the signing means that LLRIB will get contracts whether it be through NRT Trucking or Athabasca Catering and other direct source contracting, for the life of the mines.

“We still have to provide the same top level service that we have been providing,” she said.  “It just means we don’t have to go back and re-negotiate those contracts over.”

Cook-Searson says the agreement took about four years to negotiate but the two parties now have a more formalized agreement.  She says this agreement will help keep jobs local and will give preference to LLRIB members who are applying for jobs with Cameco.

Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel says the company has had a long-standing relationship with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.  He says Cameco can’t run its business without the support of the LLRIB and the companies it owns.

“By formalizing this agreement, it gives us certainty, transparency going forward and it’s good for the community,” he noted.

Gitzel says the agreement contains evergreen contracts, which will allow companies like NTR Trucking to be Cameco’s trucker for the life of the mines.

An estimate of the value of the deal was not provided, but previous collaboration agreements with other northern communities have been valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.