Success Stories

Tsetsaut Ventures meets growing need for mining support services in northern BC

Tsetsaut Ventures meets growing need for mining support services in northern BC


The Skii km Lax Ha First Nation may be small – it has only 30 members – but its traditional territory of nearly 20,000 square kilometres is large and overlaps with an area known as the Golden Triangle, a region near Hazleton that has world-class copper and gold deposits.

In 2008, Chief Darlene Simpson and her husband George formed a contracting company, Tsetsaut Ventures Ltd., and began reaching out to the many exploration companies working in the traditional territory of the Skii km Lax Ha.

Their first contract was to provide a crew of a dozen people to manually crack cores. Tsetsaut Ventures quickly put together a team of energetic and motivated employees, drawing on their strong relationships with members of nearby First Nations communities.

“The project manager demanded they do 20 boxes a day, which is what the best core crackers on site were doing – our kids were doing up to 40 boxes a day within a week, setting a new standard in the camp,” said Chief Simpson.

Tsetsaut Ventures’ services have continued to grow alongside the development in the area.

“Their capacity evolved from 2008, when they provided core boxes, to 2013 when they were providing heavy equipment, doing construction and providing a lot of skilled workers to us,” said Robert Quartermain, president of Pretium Resources. Pretium has been advancing its Brucejack Project – a high-grade gold deposit – since 2008; the project received an Environmental Assessment Certificate in March 2015 to begin construction of an underground mine that will start producing gold in 2017.

The relationship between Tsetsaut Ventures and Pretium is built on trust. As Chief Simpson and her husband were growing the company, they reinvested every cent they made. Some purchases, however, required capital they did not have. In these cases, they asked Pretium to loan them the money, which they promised to pay back in two months. Pretium agreed to provide a loan of $300,000 on a handshake: the equipment was purchased and the loan repaid within the promised timeframe.

Tsetsaut Ventures is now one of the largest employers in the Hazleton area and has a workforce that is 60% Aboriginal. The company supplies trucks, excavators and earthmovers; manages work camps; builds core boxes; constructs mine buildings; and provides cooks, first aid attendants, geo-technicians and environmental monitors to exploration companies in the region.

“We continue to work with the Skii km Lax Ha on what the [environmental] impacts will be, but they certainly have an understanding of the benefits first hand to them and their community from the relationship we have with them,” said Quartermain. “Because the contracting company has provided so many of the necessary services required to develop the project, the Skii km Lax Ha Nation has been involved in the process every step of the way. It is one where the commercial interests of a First Nation complement those of the leadership as it relates to the ongoing development of this project.”

Chief Simpson appreciates the advantages of having mineral exploration and mining in their territory. “This is new for our community,” she said. “But I see the benefits. The individuals want an opportunity to work. Having jobs makes it a healthier community; you see more kids in sports, you see people buying vehicles and homes. My vision of the future is lots of contracting opportunities, jobs and a heathier community.”
 
Read the full success story, including lessons learned. 

Looking for more information about First Nations economic development activitiy across B.C.? Explore our interactive database at www.FNEDD.ca and follow our Twitter account at @bcabic

email     Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Digg

< Back to Success Stories
 

Community Profile: Hazelton

North Coast
Kitimat-Stikine

Situated at the confluence of the Skeena and Bulkley Rivers, nestled at the foot of Roche de Boule Mountain; the Village of Hazelton remains much like the original settlement, founded in 1866, the centre of navigation for our area. First by ancient trails in all directions, by canoe, pack train, dog sled, and eventually stern-wheelers from the Northwest Coast.

Statistics
Total Population 313
Median Household Income $66,304 ($CDN)
Closest Commercial Airport Smithers Airport (68km)
Closest Ocean Port Kitimat (209km)
Closest Major Centre Whitehorse (748km)
View Community Profile
Recent opportunities in the area
Concept Floor and Kitchen Center Ltd is a business for sale in BC.

Concept Floor and Kitchen Center Ltd

4730 Keith Avenue, Terrace, BC
This well established and proven retail business is in a high profile location beside Highway 16 in Terrace. It has excellent annual revenues and potential to grow even further. The business specializes in the retailing of kitchen cabinetry, countertops, tile and all types of flooring as well as the... continue

Mumfords Beerhouse and lodging is a commercial real estate opportunity in BC.

Mumfords Beerhouse and lodging

5422 BC-16, Terrace, BC, V8G 0C6
19 Room lodge featuring 16 kitchenettes with 3 bedroom 2 bathroom live in manager suite. Pub has 65 seats inside and 20 on patio. Liquor primary with family food service add on and off sale licence. Handicapped accessible room in lodge and pub handicapped accessible. Commercial lease (mortgage helpe... continue

Dollar Automotive is a business for sale in BC.

Dollar Automotive

1700 Nalabila Blvd, Kitimat, BC
Established in 2012, this turn key business is one of only 2 automotive repair shops in Kitimat. Business includes all assets - comprised of quality tools and equipment. Also included is the fleet of vehicles to operate a successful towing service: tow truck, flat bed truck, 2013 Dodge Ram shop truc... continue