Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs)

Title & Link Description
Aboriginal Mining Guide This 7-module guide published by the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal is designed to help Aboriginal communities decide if there are lasting benefits to be gained from mining development. It also explains how to negotiate with mining companies in order to gain those benefits while protecting the environment and quality of life. The guide also includes 5 case studies highlighting the negotiation, deals, and results of First Nations mining developments. Modules for this detailed guide include mining basics, getting the most out of leverage, and negotiating joint ventures and IBAs.
Aboriginal Participation in Mineral Development Environmental Assessment and Impact and Benefit Agreements This 96 page Master’s Thesis written by Courtney Riley Fidler of The University of British Columbia examines the Tahltan Nation’s involvement and participation in the Galore Creek Project in British Columbia, and demonstrates the challenges and opportunities that arose during the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) process. It uses key informant interviews to gain multiple perspectives – from the proponent, Tahltan, and Government, to understand how the Tahltan utilized the EA and IBA to participate in the mineral development. It also discusses the differences and benefits of EAs and IBAs in general.
Agreements between Mining Companies and Aboriginal Communities and Governments This map was created by Natural Resources Canada to illustrate where in Canada agreements between mining companies and aboriginal communities. The map gives information on the type of agreement, as well as the date and partners involved. The different agreement types are defined. They include Letter of Intent, Exploration Agreement, Impact and Benefits Agreement, Joint-Venture Agreement, and Surface Agreement.
Assessing the Effectiveness of Impact and Benefit Agreements from the Perspective of their Aboriginal Signatories This 157 page Master’s Thesis by Jason Prno from the University of Guelph reports on a systematic analysis from the NWT to see if the IBA there put in place has been meeting its intended aims. After the research was complete, the author concluded that, despite some deficiencies, the IBA was meeting its goals and delivering positive outcomes for the Aboriginal communities.
Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association: Conference Opening Comments “Developing Minds, Managing Resources” This 3 page copy of the opening comments from the November 2008 Canadian Aboriginal Mining Association addresses the general progress of agreements in Canada between Aboriginal Communities and mining companies. The speaker points out that, in order to further improve upon these agreements, there is a need to develop the minds of partners involved, whether community, industry, government or otherwise. The comments also cover some general approaches and questions from the mining industry and aboriginal communities to address various concerns in order to effectively manage our resources.
Consulting and Accommodating First Nations in Canada: A Duty That Reaps Benefits This 17 page paper presented at the National Claims Research Workshop in 2005 and was delivered by Dr. Dean M. Jacobs, Chief of Walpole Island First Nation in Bkejwanong Territory. His paper addresses experiences and consultations with the rights and claims and the developments within his community. His thesis states that governments and proponents of developments in Aboriginal territory need to start seeing consultation with and accommodating Aboriginal peoples much differently. Rather than fighting the idea of consulting with Aboriginal people and accommodating so the duty is viewed as a cost with no benefits, consultation and accommodation with Aboriginal people needs to be seen as a process that can benefit all parties involved, Aboriginal people and proponents alike. At the end of the paper Dr. Jacobs comments on the relevance of consultation and accommodation with respect to specific claims resolution.
Corporate – Aboriginal Agreements on Mineral Development: The Wider Implications of Contractual Arrangements This research paper by Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh was delivered to the 2009 Rethinking Extractive Industries Conference at York University. The paper discusses how negotiation of legally binding agreements between Aboriginal peoples and mining companies is now standard practice in settler societies such as Australia and Canada. While they can certainly offer substantial benefits, identified in the first section of the paper, Aboriginal – mining company agreements raise major issues in terms of Aboriginal relations with other political actors and institutions, including government, environmental groups and the judicial system. This paper considers these implications, identifying some key changes in an Aboriginal group’s political and institutional relations that can follow on from signing an agreement with a mining company. It identifies a number of strategies for addressing the wider implications of agreement making, in part by addressing key agreement provisions in areas such as confidentiality, Aboriginal support for projects, and Aboriginal access to judicial and regulatory systems. It also emphasizes the importance of ensuring that agreement negotiations do not become isolated from broader community planning and decision making processes.
Developing an Ideal Mining Agenda Impact and Benefit Agreements as Instruments of Community Development in Northern Ontario This 177 page Master’s Thesis by Peter Siebenmorgen states that the limited success of some IBAs for some First Nation communities has been caused by their failure to identify and thoughtfully address Aboriginal signatory’s implicit expectations and interests regarding long-term community development. Accordingly, based on extensive empirical evidence from contemporary northern Ontario, this thesis attempts to develop an ideal IBA, sensitive to the particular socio-economic conditions, cultural interests and community development expectations of Aboriginal signatories in northern Ontario. This research suggests that IBAs can serve as instruments of community development and mutual benefit between project developers and their Aboriginal partners, which constitutes a significant improvement from mining’s exploitive history in the north.
Devolution and Resource Revenue Sharing in the Canadian North Achieving Fairness Across Generation This 28 page discussion paper was commissioned by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation in advance of its first general forum on northern policy options. The forum focused on devolution and resource revenue sharing in Canada’s northern territories, with particular emphasis on the Northwest Territories (NWT). A key question posed to participants in preparation for this event is: how do we fairly distribute the benefits of non-renewable resources activities across generations? This paper provides an overview of progress on devolution and resource revenue sharing within the three territories. Serving as an evidentiary basis for discussion, it contains an overview of emerging issues and lessons learned from devolution and resource revenue sharing negotiations and agreements. Drawing from the experiences of Indigenous peoples’ governments and from other jurisdictions which address issues of intergenerational equity in their stewardship of non-renewable resource benefits, this paper presents options for promoting intergenerational equity as a desirable fiscal, economic, and social policy goal.
Environmental Impact Assessment and Impact and Benefit Agreements: Creative Tension or Conflict? This 12 page research paper explores some of the challenges presented to Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and consultation processes by the establishment of Impact & Benefit Agreements (IBA) in the Canadian North. The paper includes an overview of the nature of IBAs for First Nations; a brief review of the new legal framework for IBA requirements in the NWT; a discussion of tension between public EIA processes and private IBAs; and suggestions for an approach to reconciling the use of these tools that encourages public participation, effective public decision-making, and the mitigation of socio-economic impacts.
Guidelines for Social Impact Assessments for mining projects in Greenland These Guidelines have been prepared to assist mining companies and their consultants with guidance in preparing Social Impact Assessments (SIAs) of mining projects in Greenland. The Guidelines provide an Introduction outlining the purpose of an SIA and the role of the Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum (BMP). This is followed by a description of the SIA process and detailed guidance for preparing the SIA document. These Guidelines also provide in appendices, a range of other information that may assist mining companies and their consultants in implementing the Impact Benefit Agreement based on the prepared Social Impact Assessment. In addition to mineral exploitation projects, these guidelines shall with relevant modifications serve as guidelines for mineral exploration projects and for petroleum projects when required by the BMP.
How Mineral Exploration Companies Seek Access to First Nation Territory This 104 page research essay by Shauna Qureshy asserts that while Canadian law grants “free entry” for mineral exploration on Crown land, many exploration companies seek either formal, negotiated agreements or non-negotiated acquiescence from First Nation communities before they begin their exploration programs. Not all companies obtain acquiescence/agreement before proceeding, however. Based on 33 interviews the author conducted with junior and major companies and consultants, this paper proposes and tests two hypotheses: 1) companies prefer to seek acquiescence rather than negotiating agreements if they believe a First Nation’s “landlord perceptions” can be weakened; and 2) companies will proceed even if they fail to obtain acquiescence/agreement if they believe they can detect “political traps” ahead of time and avoid them. This paper tests these hypotheses and finds the factors to be much better predictors for how companies approach First Nations than companies’ size and wealth, their vulnerability to First Nation threats, or pressures for corporate social responsibility.
Impact and Benefit Agreement Toolkit: Negotiation and Implementation of Impact and Benefit Agreements This extensive toolkit commissioned by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation provides general information on negotiation of impact and benefit agreements. The IBA Community Toolkit is a free resource for First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada considering impact and benefit agreements, such as those with mining companies. While the toolkit focuses on the mining industry, many of the issues and processes addressed in the toolkit are relevant to agreement making in other industry sectors and contexts, including protected areas, oil and gas, hydro and forestry. The goal is to help communities, negotiators, and consultants to achieve positive agreements for Aboriginal communities. The toolkit is designed to be useful to readers in a number of capacities.
Impact and Benefit Agreements: A Contentious Issue for Environmental and Aboriginal Justice This 21 page article written for the Environments Journal focuses on in terms of environmental and Aboriginal Justice. Impact and benefit agreements (IBAs) have become a common part of a standard package of agreements negotiated between an industrial proponent and a representative aboriginal organization. IBAs seek to establish a bond based on consultation and support of both parties in a mineral development scenario. Challenges facing IBAs include their confidential nature and their relationship to conventional environmental assessment (EA). IBAs go beyond the regulatory and advisory Environmental Assessment (EA) processes and often find themselves in conflict due to overlapping objectives and blurred boundaries. IBAs can perpetuate injustices if benefits are not equally distributed to the community or if monitoring and follow-up on behalf of both parties are not continuous. To consider both challenges and opportunities, brief descriptions and comparison of IBAs and EAs are discussed and questions regarding the advantages of IBAs are considered.
Impact and Benefits Agreements: Do the Ross River Dena benefit from Mineral Projects The 148 page Master’s thesis focuses its study on the Ross River Dena and whether or not the community has benefited from mineral projects in the area. The negotiation of Impact and Benefits Agreements (IBAs) for large-scale hard mineral developments has become common practice within Canada and increasingly throughout the world. Initially, Canadian IBAs were negotiated between the Federal government and industry in the interest of indigenous people affected by the development. With the empowerment of indigenous peoples in Canada, the negotiation of IBAs has shifted from government to the First Nations themselves. Although IBAs are increasingly used for large-scale developments, only little information is available to their actual success in providing long-term benefits.
Issues and Options for a Policy on Impact and Benefits Agreements This 128 page discussion paper was prepared for the Mineral Resources Directorate of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND). The purpose of the paper is to assist DIAND in developing policy relating to impact and benefits agreements (IBAs) for mining projects in northern Canada. In particular, the principal objectives are to identify and analyse the major issues raised by the negotiation and implementation of IBAs and to set out an array of policy options for addressing these issues. In addition, the paper provides some contextual information regarding the use of IBAs in the North.
Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities This 96 page Mining Information Kit by various Canadian mining-focused organizations, is designed to explain the mining cycle from prospecting and exploration, through mining operation, to mine closure and reclamation. The 4 modules (Mineral Exploration, Mine Development, Mine Operation, Mine Closure) each cover the following topics in detail:-,Overview-,Acts and Regulations-,Environmental and Social Impacts-,Community Employment and Other Economic Opportunities-,Details of a case study
Negotiated spaces work, home and relationships in the Dene diamond economy This 300 page thesis examines Dene IBAs and engagement with the diamond mining economy in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The ability to bounce back, or be resilient (not vulnerable), as defined by the Tåîchô and Yellowknives Dene communities is central to community response and well being in this new economy. Study of the Tåîchô Cosmology emphasizes the focus on cultural resilience wherein the quality and nature of the relationships as inscribed in past and present agreements themselves are of defining importance. New relationships with mining companies are entered with the expectation of reciprocity by communities, so that the exchanges are economic, social, cultural, spiritual and symbolic. This thesis outlines this process as it plays out in the mining economy and as it is manifest in spaces of negotiation, each of which invokes social capital and reciprocity. These include negotiations between: diamond mining companies and the communities; government and communities; diamond mining companies and the workers, and miners and their families and communities. The thesis argues that Treaty mining companies can shift approaches, both in the orientation to relationship and in the implementation of agreements through the life cycle of the mine.
Socio-economic Effects Handbook for Yukon Mining, Oil and Gas Projects This 18 page document serves as a handbook surrounding the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA). It focuses exclusively on the six elements which form the socio-economic assessment for mining development in the Yukon under the YESAA, including: – Possible socio-economic components- Identification of valued socio-economic components- Characterization of potential effects- Enhancement of positive socio-economic components and mitigation of negative effects- Determination of significance- Effects monitoring and adaptive managementThe information contained in this handbook is intended for advocates of the Assessment Act making project proposal submissions at the Designated Office (evaluation), Executive Committee (screening) and Panel (review) level.
Sticks and Bones: Is your IBA Working Amending and Enforcing Impact Benefit Agreements This 16-page paper examines barriers to implementing IBAs and other matters related to implementation. It begins with a basic outline of enforcement mechanisms then turns to a discussion of how to reconcile conflicts between the duty to consult and IBAs. The following sections of the paper deal with amendments to IBAs, challenging areas in IBA implementation, and the success of interim IBA arrangements.
The Aboriginal Tool-kit: What Every Mining Principal Needs to Know When Dealing with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada The article discusses a report published by the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) that examined the technical feasibility of using wind energy for electricity generation. The report assessed the costs, impacts and challenges associated with the production of 20% wind energy by 2030. Results have shown that there is a need for an enhanced transmission infrastructure and an increase in turbine installations to achieve 20% wind energy.
The Nanisivik Legacy in Arctic Bay – A Socio-Economic Impact Study This 105-page report was undertaken in order to document and assess the legacy that Nanisivik has contributed to building the community of Arctic Bay; to determine the impacts that mine closure will have on the community; and, to gather what has been learned from this experience so that future community-mine developments build on the Nanisivik experience.
The Raglan Nickel Mine: What Comes After an Impact/Benefits Agreement? A case study on the Raglan Nickel Mine in Nunavik with a recap on discussions between a senior executive of Falconbridge Limited mining company and a representative of the local Inuit community for Makivik.
The Rules of Engagement? Negotiated Agreements and Environmental Assessment in the Northwest Territories, Canada Increasingly in the Canadian North, developers engage in two parallel processes with no formal connection: the preparation of environmental assessments for public regulatory review; and the establishment of private negotiated agreements with Aboriginal communities. This uncoordinated system frustrates developers, communities, and regulators. While some assert that the public has no right to be concerned with private agreements, environmental assessments are conducted assuming these agreements will be signed. Indeed, overlap exists and some of it is problematic. For instance, some decision-makers interpret signed negotiated agreements as landowner ‘consent’ and look for signed agreements before issuing approvals. Opportunities, however, exist to improve this situation through use of integrative and iterative processes (whereby outputs from one inform the other) featuring more flexible timing and greater government involvement in the determination of select benefits. While such a system may maximize the public good, it is unclear if it will satisfy industry and Aboriginal stakeholders.
Thinking About Benefits Agreements: An Analytical Framework The purpose of this paper is to provide a common background for participants in a
workshop on benefits agreements in the Northwest Territories. The author of the paper
suggests that, in order to put a benefits agreement into proper perspective, there are several, general questions that should be asked. They are:
1) What purpose is the agreement meant to serve?
2) How does the agreement fit within the applicable legal and regulatory
3) Are the specific provisions of the agreement appropriate in the
4) Could the agreement be enforced?
Understanding the Need for Supraregulatory Agreements in Environmental Assessment: An Evaluation from the Northwest Territories  Conventional environmental assessment (EA) is often considered the best approach for reducing negative outcomes associated with resource developments, though some critics remain sceptical of its fairness and effectiveness. In northern Canada, supraregulatory agreements, such as Impact and Benefits Agreements, are increasingly being used alongside EA for mineral developments. This thesis seeks to uncover the rationale for using these agreements among aboriginal and government stakeholders. Examining a case in the Mackenzie Valley, Northwest Territories, where these agreements have been used for three diamond mines, this research finds that supraregulatory agreements are a function of a number of deficiencies identified in EA process and design. Specifically, aboriginal and government stakeholders understand that EA does not consider benefits, employ adequate project-specific follow-up, and garner adequate trust or capacity amongst stakeholders. Recognizing this shortfall, these groups wish to negotiate supraregulatory agreements with companies to secure better outcomes where EA has traditionally failed.
Used and Abused: Negotiated Agreements Aboriginal groups and mining proponents are taking a transactional approach through
negotiated agreements to work in partnership. This paper examines how bilateral agreements are used to maximize legal certainty and work cooperatively through the regulatory mine approval process. Anecdotal evidence is presented on how the Crown is benefiting from negotiated agreements to lessen their fiduciary duty towards Aboriginal peoples vis-à-vis third parties, and how this ‘weighing-in’ strains the original spirit and intent of what the agreement set out to do. This paper draws on a British Columbia, Canada, case study to consider how the Crown is using and perhaps even abusing negotiated agreements.
Yukon Benefits Agreements: Policy Options The purpose of this project is to prepare a policy options paper which will hopefully facilitate and focus such a discussion. The first requirement for the establishment of a benefits agreements policy framework is general consensus among government policy makers on the rationale for the drafting of a framework. Accordingly, Section 2.0 of the paper looks at the reasons why the Government of Yukon might consider drafting a benefits agreements policy framework. As the creation of a durable benefits agreements policy framework will also require agreement on a set of policy principles, Section 3.0 of the paper presents a proposed set of policy principles. Section 4.0 identifies a range of possible elements which might be specified in a benefits agreements policy framework and Section 5.0 describes four possible forms that a requirement for a benefits agreement might take. The paper wraps up in Section 6.0 with a brief conclusion.