YKDFN’s Det’on Cho Nahanni Construction Corporation appointed as contract miner for Nechalacho Rare Earth project

Front row, left to right: Paul Gruner, President and CEO of Det’on Cho Development Corporation; Kenny Ruptash, Vice President of Det’on Cho Nahanni and Principal of Nahanni Construction; Yellowknives Dene First Nation Chief Ernest Betsina; Evan Cranston, Director of Vital Metals Ltd. (Cheetah’s parent company); David Connelly, the Representative of Cheetah Resources Corporation; Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty. Back row: Shane Thompson, GNWT Minister of Lands and Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism, and Investment. (Photo courtesy of David Connelly).

The Det’on Cho construction company has signed an agreement with Australia-based Cheetah Resources to control the mining at the Nechalacho Rare Earth mining project site.

Det’on Cho is a subsidiary of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

According to a news release, the agreement may be the first where all mining operations are controlled by an Indigenous company.

The agreement was signed at the AME round up conference in Vancouver with Ndilo chief Ernest Betsina in attendance.

“Cheetah and Det’on Cho Nahanni have set an important new benchmark for indigenous participation in major projects for the Northwest Territories,” he said in a statement.

The news release said the three-year project will employ about 25 people.

The site is about 100 kilometres south-east of Yellowknife.