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Rock Creek lands transfer

Reggie Sope, Western Shoshone spiritual leader, rides into a celebration of Klondex Mines Ltd. donating the Rock Creek lands back to the tribes in summer 2017. The mining company was recognized for corporate excellence by the American Exploration & Mining Association. Kinross Gold U.S.A. was also recognized for reclamation and remediation work. 

The American Exploration & Mining Association honored two North American mining companies at its 123rd Annual Meeting in late 2017 in Reno. Kinross Gold U.S.A., Inc. received AEMA’s Environmental Excellence Award for remediation and reclamation of the Mineral Hill Mine, located adjacent to Yellowstone National Park in Montana. Klondex Mines Ltd. received the Platinum Award for Corporate Excellence in recognition of their outstanding gift to the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone and for their work with the tribe in planning a mine that is culturally respectful and responsible.

“Exceptional companies like Kinross and Klondex deserve to be recognized for embodying the very best of the mining industry,” said Laura Skaer, AEMA executive director. “Their commitment to environmental stewardship, community and sustainable mining practices is what modern mining is all about.”

Both companies are implementing state-of-the-art technology and techniques to maintain high environmental standards and are collaborating with the surrounding communities. In 2003, Kinross acquired Mineral Hill through its merger with TVX Gold. Kinross successfully reclaimed the mine through advanced technology, modern techniques and close collaborations that ensure the project is a leader in environmental stewardship. Native plants, grasses and shrubs have been re-established over the entire site, and the reclaimed areas provide habitat for wildlife. Kinross also donated water rights representing approximately 3 billion gallons of water to Trout Unlimited to protect fish habitat in the Yellowstone River and reached a conservation easement agreement with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to permanently protect a 549-acre land corridor used as an important elk migration route.

“Kinross’ commitment to mine reclamation and environmental stewardship is demonstrated in our partnerships with Trout Unlimited and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to permanently protect fish habitat and an important elk migration route near Yellowstone National Park,” said Lauren Roberts, Kinross Gold Corp.’s chief operating officer. “Without our employees’ dedication and hard work, we would not have been able to achieve such a positive outcome that will conserve wildlife habitat and benefit future generations.”

On August 18, 2017, Klondex Mines Ltd. donated the Rock Creek Lands to the Western Shoshone Indians. For thousands of years, the Western Shoshone have used the Rock Creek Lands for healing ceremonies and are a great source of medicinal plants. The land package gifted by Klondex is 3,629 acres and includes rock shelters, sweat lodges, and other ceremonial sites. Klondex and the Western Shoshone have established covenants to empower the Western Shoshone in the protection of these lands to ensure there is a legacy to be used for generations to come.

“This is a historic event for the Shoshone, Klondex, and many others. Something that will change the course of history and secure lands indefinitely for the Western Shoshone”, said Paul Huet, Klondex president and CEO.

The AEMA Annual Meeting is the second-largest annual mining convention in the U.S. It featured 250 exhibitors, a core shack, 27 technical sessions and over 100 speakers bringing more than 1,900 people to the Reno area.

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