Uranium mining companies Cameco Corporation and AREVA Resources Canada Inc. have signed a collaboration agreement with the English River First Nation (ERFN) that will strengthen the relationship between the parties and formalize how benefits from uranium mining will be shared with ERFN communities.

Cameco said that the agreement was negotiated over a period of approximately two years. The agreement "clearly outlines the commitments of each party and builds on a 25-year history of working together to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship."

It said that based on existing mining operations, the potential value of the agreement is estimated at $600 million in economic benefit for the communities over the first ten years. That value could be "significantly higher" if planned projects such as the Millennium mine are developed, it said.

Although most of the economic benefit will flow through business contracts and employee wages, the companies will also provide a signing bonus, milestone payments and annual community investment payments based on mine production for ERFN community development initiatives. These payments will support projects and programmes with a focus on education, health and wellness, infrastructure and sports and recreation.