New Uranium Mining Projects - Northwest Territories & Nunavut, Canada
(last updated 20 Oct 2020)
Northwest Territories - General
Nunavut - General ·
Baker Lake / Kiggavik
> See also Issues for:
Operating Mines ·
Decommissioning Projects (NWT) ·
Legislation & Regulations (Nunavut)
> See also Data for:
Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines (Nunavut) ·
Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines (NWT) ·
Old Mines and Decommissioning (NWT)
> See also: New Uranium Mining Projects - Canada (Archive)
The following companies are performing uranium prospection and/or exploration in the Northwest Territories / Nunavut:
Alberta Star Development Corp.,
De Beers Canada Inc. ,
Majescor Resources Inc. ,
Adamera Minerals Corp. ,
MAX Resource Corp. ,
Pathfinder Resources Ltd. ,
Pitchstone Exploration Ltd ,
Triex Minerals Corporation ,
Uravan Minerals Inc.,
Yankee Hat Minerals Ltd. ,
Eastmain Resources Inc. ,
Ruby Hill Exploration Inc. ,
COGEMA Resources Inc.,
Solitaire Minerals Corp. ,
Concordia Resource Corp. ,
Adriana Resources Inc. ,
MIE Metals Corp. ,
Xemplar Energy Corp. ,
Garuda Capital Corp. ,
Superior Diamonds Inc. ,
Forum Uranium Corp. ,
Landmark Minerals Inc. ,
Goliath Resources Inc. ,
Pacific Ridge Exploration Ltd ,
Paladin Energy Ltd.,
Unor Inc. ,
GenX Resource Corporation, Inc. ,
North American Gem Inc. ,
Hinterland Metals Inc. ,
Kaminak Gold Corporation ,
ValOre Metals Corp. ,
Rockgate Capital Corp.,
Galore Resources Inc. ,
Great Bear Resources plc ,
Jalna Minerals Ltd. ,
Ucore Rare Metals Inc. ,
Universal Power Corp. ,
UVC Uranium Inc. ,
Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. ,
Millennia Resources AG ,
Arctic Hunter Uranium Inc. ,
New Stratus Energy Inc. ,
Troymet Exploration Corp.
Déline supports application for uranium exploration project
The Déline Land Corp. and the Community of Déline granted Solitaire Minerals Corp. permission to file a formal application to the SAHTU Land and Water Board with the Community's support. Solitaire plans to drill the Eldorado and Mystery Island properties. (Solitaire Apr. 23, 2008)
Déline says no and/or yes to further uranium development
The Déline Land Corp. will oppose all future uranium development in its district until outstanding issues having to do with the old Port Radium mine are resolved, the organization announced recently.
(Northern News Services Jan. 21, 2008)
However, according to an Alberta Star release of Feb. 7, 2008, Déline Land Corp. acknowledges its full support for Alberta Star's Eldorado & Contact Lake iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) & uranium project.
And, on May 5, 2008, Alberta Star announced that it has formally signed an amendment to their original "Master Access & Benefits" agreement with the Déline Land Corporation allowing it to proceed with the permitting and development of the Eldorado South IOCG & uranium project.
> View Port Radium decommissioning
Geophysical surveying at Screech Lake Project begins with aboriginal consent
On Aug. 10, 2009, Ur-Energy Inc. announced that geophysical and survey crews have started work on the Screech Lake Project in the southern Thelon Basin, Northwest Territories, Canada. The management of Ur-Energy thanked the band council and the Lutsel K'e community for enabling the company to carry out ground geophysics, surveying and soil sampling activities at its Screech Lake project.
Ur-Energy continues discussions with First Nations groups and Aboriginal-owned business corporations towards an exploration agreement for the Screech Lake project.
Review Board recommends rejection of uranium exploration at Screech Lake property for cultural impacts
On May 8, 2007, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board released the Report of Environmental Assessment for Ur Energy's proposed uranium exploration at the Screech Lake property in the upper Thelon watershed.
"It is the Review Board's opinion that this development, in combination with the cumulative effects of other present and reasonably foreseeable future developments in the Upper Thelon basin, will cause adverse cultural impacts of a cumulative nature to areas of very high spiritual importance to aboriginal peoples. These impacts are so significant that the development cannot be justified.
A public hearing on the project had been held in Lutsël K'e, NWT, on Jan. 16/17, 2007. It is now up to the federal Minister of Indian Affairs to decide whether to accept the recommendation.
The Review Board has recommended, pursuant to Section 128(1)(d) of the MVRMA [Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act ] that the project be rejected without an Environmental Impact Review."
> Download Report of Environmental Assessment and Reasons for Decision On Ur Energy Inc. Screech Lake uranium exploration project (EA 0607-003), May 7, 2007 (4.5M PDF - Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board)
> View Public Registry - Project Document Summary: Ur Energy - Screech Lake (2006) - EA0607-003 
In a letter to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said he agreed with its recommendation to block Ur-Energy's uranium exploration program on the Upper Thelon area east of Great Slave Lake.
(The Canadian Press Oct. 25, 2007)
Lutselk'e Dene First Nation remains opposed to uranium mining
The Lutselk'e Dene First Nation of the Northwest Territories remains totally opposed to uranium mining, said Monica Kreiger, manager of wildlife, lands and environment.
The First Nation is concerned about its impact on the environment and the region's caribou herds, she said.
It also wants to make sure the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary is protected, she said.
(CBC Nov. 23, 2006)
Uranium mining in Nunavut is opposed by
Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit (Nunavummiut can rise up)
Nunavut uranium watchdog calls for territory-wide plebiscite on uranium mining
More Inuit decision-making on in the future of uranium mining in Nunavut: this is what Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit, Nunavut's uranium development watchdog, says it wants to see.
"Inuit are restricted in their ability to inform themselves independently and evaluate the proposal on their own terms, and while there are Inuit on the NIRB [Nunavut Impact Review Board] itself the decision-making process does not clearly respond to or account for broader Inuit input."
"Important documentation is not being translated into Inuktitut, and important meetings are being held during the height of Inuit hunting seasons," said Makita in its submission to a study on extractive and energy industries in and near indigenous territories by James Anaya, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Makita said it believes that the "free prior and informed consent" of Inuit in Nunavut can only be arrived at through a territory-wide public inquiry, followed by a territory-wide vote on whether to move ahead with uranium mining in Nunavut.
(Nunatsiaq News Apr. 8, 2013)
Nunavut government announces pro-uranium mining policy
> View here
Nunavut seeking public input on uranium mining development
People across Nunavut will soon be able to voice their opinions on uranium mining in the territory, by attending a series of public forums over the next two months.
The first forum will take place March 16-17 in Iqaluit, Premier Eva Aariak announced on Monday (Mar. 7).
Similar meetings will be held in Baker Lake and Cambridge Bay in late-March and mid-April, respectively.
The territorial government seeking public input as it develops an official position and policy on uranium development, which has been the subject of public debate in recent years.
(CBC Mar. 8, 2011)
Input can be provided until May 15, 2011.
> View Uranium in Nunavut (Government of Nunavut)
Nunavut Inuit group puts pro-uranium policy on hold
The president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. says she's putting her organization's uranium mining policy on hold, to ensure Inuit in the territory have been fully informed on the issue.
Cathy Towtongie said there was not enough public consultation before Nunavut Tunngavik, the territory's Inuit land-claims organization, approved a policy in September 2007 that opened the territory to uranium exploration and mining.
Under the policy, the organization would support uranium projects in Nunavut as long as they are environmentally and socially responsible.
(CBC Feb. 24, 2011)
Nunavut government rejects call for public inquiry into uranium mining
The Nunavut government says it will not hold a public inquiry into uranium mining in the territory.
Two petitions with almost 200 names were presented to the legislature in June, calling for a full public inquiry into the issue.
In a written response issued earlier this month, Premier Eva Aariak said instead of a public inquiry the Nunavut government will hold a public forum on the issue.
The government is hiring a consultant to study the issue and the public forum will form part of the consultant's report.
Areva's Kiggavik Uranium Mine proposal continues to work its way through the regulatory system, including public hearings which began last April. Kiggavik would be the first uranium mine in Nunavut, and decisions on that project will likely set a precedent for future uranium projects in the territory.
(CBC Aug. 30, 2010)
Nunavut group launches uranium mining petition
Two petitions have been presented in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly
calling for a public inquiry into uranium mining. On Monday (June 7), the MLA
for Baker Lake Moses Aupaluktuq brought forward a petition with 142
names from Arviat, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, and Iqaluit. The
petition was put together by anti-uranium organization Nunavummiut
Yesterday (June 8) the MLA for the High Arctic Ron Elliott brought forward a
similar petition -- this one from residents of Grise Fiord. It had
over 40 signatures -- again all calling for a public inquiry.
The petitions are now on the Legislature docket and are scheduled to
be looked at in early August.
(CBC Jun. 9, 2010)
A new citizen's group in Nunavut wants the territorial government to hold a public inquiry into uranium exploration and mining.
A petition calling for the inquiry was introduced Saturday (Nov. 28) at the public launch of Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit, a new non-governmental organization that aims to provide a public forum on uranium development in the territory.
About 40 people, including civil servants and prominent local citizens, attended the group's launch meeting in Iqaluit on Saturday.
Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit - which means "Nunavummiut can rise up" in Inuktitut - was formed "just so that the residents of Nunavut feel there's more of a democratic process on such an important issue," said Sandra Inutiq, one of the group's six founding members.
Inutiq said Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit will circulate the petition to all of Nunavut's 25 communities before it is presented to territorial politicans.
(CBC Nov. 30, 2009)
Company cancels plans to explore for uranium near Garry Lake due to "unheard of" EIS requirement:
Calgary-based Uravan Minerals had proposed to explore for uranium at Garry Lake, near Baker Lake, Nunavut.
But the company has let its mineral claims expire, blaming the Nunavut Impact Review Board.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board had referred the exploration project to a full environmental review, citing concerns about the sensitive caribou habitat in the area.
Uravan president Larry Lahusen said that decision blindsided him and derailed the project.
"An environmental impact statement on an entry-level exploration project is unheard of. Doesn't exist anywhere in the world," he said.
Lahusen said a review of the project would have taken years, and cost his company millions. He also called concerns about the caribou a "fallacy."
He said Uravan minerals spent about $4 million on the project before walking away and wants the federal government to pay him back.
(CBC Nov. 13, 2012)
Nunavut Impact Review Board stops review of Garry Lake uranium exploration project:
On Oct. 1, the Nunavut Impact Review Board pulled the plug on Uravan Minerals Inc.'s Garry Lake uranium exploration project.
Uravan had been dragging its feet on producing an environmental impact statement, the next step in the review process.
Last April, Uravan gave the NIRB a status update, which said the cost and time to complete an EIS conforming with the EIS guidelines would be "cost prohibitive."
"On the basis of the 2012 status update it is apparent that the NIRB cannot proceed with this Review as required under the NLCA," the NIRB said Oct. 1. "The next stage in the NIRB process is the preparation and submission of an EIS in conformity with the EIS Guidelines and, since February 2010, the Proponent has firmly established that it is unwilling/unable to prepare an EIS."
(Nunatsiaq News Oct. 2, 2012)
Uravan Minerals, a company now exploring for uranium near Baker Lake, may restart the entire regulatory application process rather than meet its current obligations, which include a complete environmental impact statement requested by the Nunavut Impact Review Board.
Uravan's CEO, Larry Lahusen, said in a statement that the company hopes that the next time around, the NIRB may recommend less stringent requirements.
(Nunatsiaq News Jan. 21, 2010)
Uravan Minerals Inc. ordered to clean up Sand Lake exploration camp site in Nunavut:
Federal officials ordered Uravan Minerals Inc. to clean up a cache of materials from a mining camp site for which it did not have the proper land use permits.
The site in question is at Sand Lake, on Uravan's sprawling Garry Lake uranium exploration property, located 245 kilometres northwest of Baker Lake in Nunavut's Kivalliq region.
Not only did the company not have a permit to work on the Sand Lake site specifically, but the entire Garry Lake uranium property lies within the calving grounds of the Beverly caribou herd.
A federal water licence inspector also visited Sand Lake in August and found about 1,000 litres of fuel had leaked onto the ground. Garbage was also found on at the site, according to a letter sent from the inspector to Uravan.
(CBC Jan. 12, 2010)
On Feb. 20, 2009, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) released the Final Guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for Uravan Minerals Inc.'s Garry Lake uranium exploration project.
> Download Final Guidelines for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for Uravan Minerals Inc.'s Garry Lake project, February 20, 2009 (808k PDF)
On Feb. 23, 2009, Uravan Minerals Inc. CEO Larry Lahusen threatened to abandon the project, as "These bureaucracies are now allowed to create all these unnecessary studies." (Winnipeg Free Press Feb. 24, 2009)
The Beverly and Qamanirquaq Caribou Management Board (BQCMB) recommended rejecting Uravan Minerals Incorporated's permit application for uranium exploration at Garry Lake, Nunavut, that is on the Beverly calving ground. The Beverly caribou herd appears to have dramatically declined, according to numbers collected by the Government of the Northwest Territories, causing the management board responsible for the herd to call for immediate protective action.
(The Slave River Journal Dec. 2, 2008)
On Sep. 18, 2008, Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Chuck Strahl referred Uravan Minerals Inc.'s Garry Lake Project uranium exploration proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) for review under Part 5 of Article 12 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. In its Screening Decision Report of June 27, 2008, NIRB had indicated that such more extensive review is required.
> Download Garry Lake Review documents (NIRB)
Inuit organization signs agreement for exploration of Inuit owned land nearby Areva's Kiggavik uranium deposit
On Dec. 2, 2008 Forum Uranium Corp. announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) to earn a 100% interest in all minerals on 27,344 hectares of the northern half of Inuit Owned Land (IOL) parcel BL-21, located 20 kilometres east of Areva's 148 million pound Kiggavik uranium mine development project and 60 kilometres west of the Hamlet of Baker Lake, Nunavut.
On March 4, 2009, Forum Uranium Corp announced that it has entered into definitive agreements with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated ("NTI") which formalize the terms of the MOU between Forum and NTI detailing Forum's right to earn a 100% interest in all uranium and other minerals located on certain Inuit Owned Lands.
Nunavut MLA denounces Inuit organizations' conflict of interest concerning mining projects
The Government of Nunavut should wade into impact and benefit talks with mining firms because Inuit organizations have put themselves into conflicts of interest and do not protect Inuit interests in such talks, Tunnuniq Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) James Arvaluk said May 28, 2008, in the legislative assembly of Nunavut .
Arvaluk, whose community of Pond Inlet sits on the doorstep of the massive Mary River iron ore project, said Inuit land-owning organizations "are only paying lip service to Inuit" when they negotiate with mining companies.
And Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.'s part-ownership of a uranium exploration firm called the Kivalliq Energy Corp. puts the organization in a conflict of interest, Arvaluk said.
"When will the Government of Nunavut start participating in these talks to protect the interests of the people of Nunavut?" Arvaluk asked Levinia Brown, the deputy premier.
(Nunatsiaq News June 6, 2008)
Inuit organization reverses ban on uranium mining on Inuit-owned land
The Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Board has approved the reversal of its previous ban on uranium mining on Inuit-owned lands.
> Download NTI release: NTI Board of Directors Approves Uranium Policy, Sep. 18, 2007 (PDF)
> Download Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut , Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, September 11, 2007 (PDF)
> Download Background Paper On the NTI Uranium Policy , Department of Lands and Resources, Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, November 2006 (PDF)
Uranium exploration permits issued on caribou calving grounds
Conservation groups are up in arms after uranium exploration permits have been issued for areas regarded as caribou calving grounds.
Monte Hummel, president of World Wildlife Fund Canada , expressed concerns over uranium exploration permits issued for caribou calving grounds. Those permits are being issued against the recommendations of the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board, a group working on behalf of local hunters and trappers to ensure the continued health of the herds.
Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet, Repulse Bay and Arviat hamlets have all passed motions supporting uranium development.
In conjunction with the meetings held in Baker Lake, this will fulfill the two clauses of the land use plan giving a green light to continue uranium development in the area.
(Northern News Services June 27, 2007)
Inuit organization ready to give uranium mining another chance
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. vice-president James Eetoolook said the lands claims organization is now willing to reconsider its stance, as long the uranium is not used for nuclear weapons.
"We still have many concerns about this radioactive material - and that will always be the case," Eetoolook told CBC News.
"But if it's handled and used properly and in a safe way, we can support this."
(CBC Nov. 23, 2006)
NTI's draft uranium policy concerns caribou board
A biologist in the central Arctic says she's concerned a draft uranium mining policy for the region is too pro-industry.
Leslie Wakelyn, a biologist for the Beverly Qamanirjuaq Caribou management board , says the document is hardly a good place to begin discussion on the issue.
"The policy and consultation documents both provided a very pro-uranium argument and did not provide an analysis of the pros and cons of uranium mining that would be necessary for the board of directors to make a decision on the issue," she said.
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the territory's land claim organization, is developing the policy on uranium mining, and is asking for input on the policy from regional Inuit and government organizations.
Wakelyn's group, which monitors the two herds that calve on the tundra in the central Arctic, wasn't included in the consultation. But it obtained a copy of the draft- and are concerned how the draft indicates uranium mining will have a minimal effect on caribou.
She said the draft doesn't provide the analysis to back that up, and isn't a balanced starting point for discussion.
"What's needed is a balanced discussion of the issues, both pro and con, in terms of uranium mining in Nunavut in order for people to make good decisions," she said.
Hunters and trappers in Kugluktuk, a community the north coast of the mainland in the central Arctic, also feel the draft policy is pro-mining.
HTO president Peter Taptuna says they are asking NTI for more information, especially about how uranium exploration and mining could affect the Coppermine river.
(CBC May 18, 2006)
Inuit organization reversing ban on uranium mining on Inuit-owned land
Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. has reversed its previous ban on uranium mining on Inuit-owned lands, according to a new draft policy released to several groups for review and obtained by Nunatsiaq News.
(Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) is the incorporated organization that represents Inuit under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA). NTI is responsible for the management of all Inuit-Owned Lands in Nunavut and acts as the advocate of Inuit interests in Nunavut. NTI is governed by a Board of Directors elected by Inuit in Nunavut.)
NTI disallowed mining for uranium on Inuit-owned lands after the hamlet of Baker Lake successfully rallied support against the proposed Kigavvik uranium mine in the late 1980s.
Currently, NTI does not grant uranium rights to mining and exploration companies who apply to mine subsurface Inuit-owned lands.
That ban was initially put in place during a wave of protest against uranium mining and its possible negative effects on the environment, including caribou herds.
The draft policy re-interprets that ban to mean that NTI retains the rights to uranium on Inuit owned lands, and suggests that NTI could participate in future uranium mining projects, or extract additional royalty payments from mining and exploration companies who apply to work with uranium on these lands.
The document shows enthusiasm for uranium mining in Nunavut, and calls for a "thorough compilation and analysis of the uranium potential on all IOL [Inuit-owned lands]."
(Nunatsiaq News May 5, 2006)
> View project ownership details
> View Kiggavik Project (Areva)
> View The Kiggavik Project (CNSC)
The Baker Lake / Kiggavik project is being opposed by Baker Lake Concerned Citizens Committee, Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit (Nunavummiut can rise up).
Areva suspends Kiggavik uranium mine project after negative government determination
Areva Resources Canada Inc.'s Kiggavik uranium project is officially suspended, and the company says it has no immediate plans to re-submit a proposal to Nunavut regulators.
(Nunatsiaq News July 28, 2016)
Federal ministers accept Nunavut review board's determination that Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project should not proceed at this time
"As responsible ministers for the Kiggavik Uranium Mine (the Kiggavik Project) as proposed by AREVA Canada Resources Inc., the Ministers of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Natural Resources, Transport and Indigenous and Northern Affairs (the Ministers) have jurisdictional responsibility for authorizing whether the Kiggavik Project should or should not proceed. Having reviewed the Board's Final Hearing Report for the Kiggavik Project, pursuant to Section 12.5.7(a) of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, the Ministers have accepted the NIRB's determination that the Project should not proceed at this time."
> Download: Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs letter to NIRB, July 14, 2016 (870k PDF)
Areva asks federal government to reject review board's vote against Kiggavik uranium mine project
Areva Canada has asked the federal government to reject the Nunavut Impact Review Board's final report, which recommends the company's proposed uranium project not go ahead because of the company's inability to provide a firm start date.
(Nunatsiaq News July 7, 2015)
Nunavut review board says no to Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project for lack of definite start date
After a lengthy environmental assessment process that began Jan. 16, 2009, the Nunavut Impact Review Board says Areva Canada's proposed Kiggavik uranium mine "should not proceed at this time."
A NIRB news release issued May 8 said that because Areva cannot provide a definite start date or development schedule for the project, an accurate assessment of future environmental and social impacts cannot be done right now.
"The Kiggavik Project as presented has no definite start date or development schedule. The board found that this adversely affected the weight and confidence which it could give to assessments of future ecosystemic and socio-economic effects," the NIRB said in a release signed by the board's chair, Elizabeth Copland.
The NIRB has given this recommendation to Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, in a separate letter.
But the NIRB also said today's decision does not rule out a uranium mine at Kiggavik in the future.
"The Board intends that the Kiggavik Project may be resubmitted for consideration at such future time when increased certainty regarding the project start date can be provided, and so enable the Board to make more definite and confident assessments having regard to the enduring significance of caribou, fish and marine wildlife for Nunavummiut," the NIRB release said.
(Nunatsiaq May 8, 2015)
> Download NIRB release May 8, 2015 (591kB PDF)
> Download NIRB Final Hearing Report, May 2015 (3MB PDF)
> Download NIRB letter to Canada Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, May 8, 2015 (528kB PDF)
Hunters' organizations in the Kivalliq are banding together to oppose Areva's Kiggavik uranium project
Hunters' organizations in the Kivalliq are banding together to oppose the Kiggavik uranium project, days before a blizzard-delayed final hearing on the project is set to start in Baker Lake on the afternoon of March 3.
A Feb. 26 resolution from the Kivalliq Wildlife Board -- created under the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement and made up of the chairs of each hunters and trappers organization in the region -- made their position clear.
"The Kivalliq Wildlife Board does not agree with approving the Kiggavik proposal at this time," said the resolution, obtained by Nunatsiaq News.
The KWB said it is not necessarily opposed to the project itself, but will remain firmly opposed until two conditions are met: protection, either through a land use plan or legislation, of caribou calving and post-calving grounds; and, a firm and realistic timeline for the project, including a project start date.
(Nunatsiaq News March 2, 2015)
Inuit NGO Makita submits statement against approval of Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project
Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit (Makita) requests that the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) not approve AREVA's Kiggavik proposal at this time. Makita believes approval for Kiggavik should be withheld until:
> View Makita release Jan. 17, 2015
- AREVA further develops the Kiggavik proposal. The current proposal lacks concrete
timelines for production, which makes all analyses of impacts on the ecological and
socio-economic environment so uncertain that they are largely unreliable. Further, there
are serious deficiencies in the analyses of cumulative effects and the choice of
significance thresholds in the FEIS.
- Nunavut regulators implement a policy/planning framework capable of controlling
induced development associated with the Kiggavik proposal. Kiggavik would be a "basin
opening" project, leading to increased exploration and mining for uranium in the
Kiggavik area. Nunavut requires a strategy to protect critical caribou habitat and places of
high cultural value before approving a basin opening project like Kiggavik
Areva submits Final Environmental Impact Statement on Kiggavik Project
On Oct. 2, 2014, Areva Resources Canada announced that it has submitted the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for its Kiggavik Project to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). As of Oct. 16, 2014, the FEIS is available on the NIRB website.
NIRB invites interested parties to submit final written submissions until 5:00 pm MT Friday January 16, 2015.
> Download Kiggavik Project Final Environmental Impact Statement, Areva Sep. 2014: NIRB · Areva Resources
French antinuclear network hands out petition with 30,000-signatures to French Ministers against Areva's mining project in Baker Lake, Nunavut
Since 2008, Areva has been trying to build a uranium mining complex near Baker Lake, a small town in Nunavut, the Canadian Arctic territory inhabited primarily by Inuit. Today, the French network "Sortir du nucléaire ", which gathers 930 collectives and 59,000 individuals, delivers a petition signed by 30,000 and a letter to the French Ministries of Environment, Development, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade to ask them to forbid Areva’s mining project.
(Sortir du nucléaire Jan. 17, 2014)
> View Sortir du nucléaire release Jan. 17, 2014
Saskatchewan Dene worried about flying uranium from proposed Kiggavik mine in Nunavut over their traditional territory
A proposed uranium mine in Nunavut is causing concern in Saskatchewan.
The Athabasca Denesuline don't want the uranium moving through -- or over -- their traditional territory.
Areva proposes to fly concentrated uranium from Kiggavik to northern Saskatchewan, then move it from there by truck and train.
In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, the Athabasca Denesuline say they're worried about possible accidents and "irreversible destruction" to the environment.
Barry McCallum of Areva says the concerns are overblown.
"Impacts to wildlife would be expected to be low, localized and temporary," he says. "Because spills are relatively easy to clean up. And that's all in the draft environmental impact statement."
Areva plans to fly about 5,000 tonnes of concentrated uranium each year the 800 km from Kiggavik to Points North, Sask., likely using a Hercules C-130 aircraft.
That would average almost one plane load per day.
The Athabasca Denesuline says the flight path would be almost entirely over their traditional territory.
(CBC Dec. 13, 2013)
> Download Athabasca Denesuline Negotiation Team letter , Dec. 4, 2013 (246k PDF)
Canada eases foreign ownership restrictions for uranium mines
> View here
Nunavut hunters' organization calls for uranium referendum
The chair of the Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization said it's time for a Nunavut-wide referendum on uranium mining.
Hugh Ikoe said a referendum is the only way to determine how people in the community feel.
In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board, Ikoe said recent consultations in Baker Lake may have given the wrong impression of community support for Areva Resources’ proposed Kiggavik uranium mine.
(CBC July 15, 2013)
Nunavut board sets rules for Kiggavik final environmental impact statement
Areva Resources Canada Inc. has received its marching orders for what to include in a final environmental impact statement, or FEIS, on its Kiggavik uranium project near Baker Lake.
Those "commitments," which Areva must observe when writing its FEIS for Kiggavik, are contained in a 62-page report that the Nunavut Impact Review Board issued July 5 following a conference held June 4 to June 6 in Baker Lake.
In its decision, the NIRB added 25 mandatory commitments that Areva must follow in crafting its FEIS.
They include requirements that Areva provide more information on groundwater and water-fowl issues, Areva's promise to achieve a 50 per cent Inuit employment level, potential impacts on caribou and more clarification of its use of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.
NIRB also said that they want Areva to provide an update of all relevant non-confidential information that pertains to its Inuit impact and benefits agreement with the Kivalliq Inuit Association.
(Nunatsiaq News July 8, 2013)
> Download NIRB release July 5, 2013 (PDF)
> Download Preliminary Hearing Conference Decision Concerning the Kiggavik Project, July 5, 2013 (1.3MB PDF)
AREVA submits technical comment responses for Kiggavik uranium mine project
On May 9, 2013, AREVA Resources Canada Inc. announced that it has submitted responses to technical comments to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) on May 8 in support of its Kiggavik Project's draft environmental impact statement.
> Download Responses to Draft EIS Technical Comments, May 8, 2013 (25MB PDF)
Areva submits responses to NIRB's information requests on Kiggavik uranium mine project
On Feb. 1, 2013, AREVA Resources Canada announced that it has submitted a package of responses to more than 400 information requests to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in support of the Kiggavik Project's draft environmental impact statement.
> Download Areva's submissions
NIRB pushes back review process for Kiggavik uranium mine project at Areva's request
The Nunavut Impact Review Board says Areva Resources Canada Inc. may take until Jan. 31, 2013 to prepare a preliminary response to technical review comments on its Kiggavik uranium mine project near Baker Lake.
Areva's request to take several more months to respond to many requests for information on the project is "reasonable," the NIRB said Oct. 15.
(Nunatsiaq News Oct. 18, 2012)
Watchdog group criticizes socioeconomics analysis in Draft EIS for Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project
An independent watchdog group for the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake has released a scathing discussion paper aimed at the mines proponent, Areva Resources Canada Inc..
Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit has been campaigning against the uranium mine since 2010, calling into question Areva's data gathering, decision making, and conclusions in its second draft environmental impact statement (DEIS).
"It is not clear exactly how Areva carried out the research they base their conclusions on, how they analyzed the range of comments and concerns Kivallirmiut have expressed about the proposed mine, and how this analysis relates to Areva's assessment of either positive or negative impacts," Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit said.
(Nunatsiaq News June 26, 2012)
> Download Discussion Paper - Kiggavik Draft Socioeconomic Impact Statement, Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit, June 2012 (131k PDF)
Draft EIS for Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project available for comment
On Dec. 21, 2011, Areva Resources Canada submitted its draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake to the Nunavut Impact Review Board.
> Download Kiggavik Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement , Dec. 2011
On Jan. 18, 2012, NIRB notified Areva that "the submission contains deficiencies which must be addressed in order to facilitate an efficient technical review of the document by all parties. Until the deficiencies in the submission as identified by the NIRB in this letter have been addressed and the NIRB subsequently determines that the DEIS conforms with the EIS Guidelines, the technical review of the submission will not commence."
On April 15, 2012, Areva announced that it plans to submit a new draft EIS by the end of April, while NIRB still hasn't managed to complete the upload of the first draft to its website - after almost four months...
On April 25, 2012, NIRB received the revised submission of the DEIS for the Kiggavik project.
On May 4, 2012, NIRB accepted AREVA's submission as a DEIS and commenced the technical review period. NIRB issued a call for Information Requests (IRs). IRs are meant to identify information gaps within the DEIS that need to be addressed so that parties can develop their respective technical review comments. Information Requests must be submitted on or before 5:00 pm MST, Monday, June 18, 2012 (deadline extended).
NIRB also started uploading the revised submission of the DEIS to its website, while the original submission still isn't uploaded completely.
> Download Kiggavik Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Revision 1 , April 2012
On May 11, 2012, NIRB finally completed the upload of the original DEIS.
NIRB invites public comment on Revised Draft Scope and Draft EIS Guidelines for Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project
The NIRB requests that all interested parties review the Revised Draft Scope and Draft EIS Guidelines and provide comments to the NIRB based on their area of expertise and/or mandate on or before 12 pm MST, January 24, 2011.
> Download Revised Draft Scope, Nov. 15, 2010 (NIRB)
> Download Draft EIS Guidelines, Nov. 15, 2010 (NIRB)
The final EIS Guidelines were issued on May 3, 2011.
> Download Final EIS Guidelines (NIRB)
On May 24, 2011, AREVA announced that it will submit a draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) to NIRB, likely before the end of 2011.
Group urges uranium policy for Nunavut, before environmental review can proceed on Kiggavik mine
The Nunavut government should take an official stance on uranium mining before an environmental review can proceed on a proposed uranium mine in the territory, according to a local advocacy group.
Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit is calling on the Nunavut Impact Review Board to stop its environmental review of Areva Resources Canada Inc.'s proposed Kiggavik uranium mine near Baker Lake, Nunavut, until the territorial government develops a uranium mining policy.
(CBC Oct. 5, 2010)
Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project won't undergo federal review
A uranium mine being proposed in Nunavut will not be subject to a federal environmental assessment, but instead be reviewed by a territorial regulator.
The Nunavut Impact Review Board will lead what is known as a Part Five review of Areva Resources Canada Inc.'s bid to develop an open-pit and underground uranium mine at its Kiggavik site, 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake.
Part Five refers to a clause in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement that gives the territorial review board the authority to assess projects.
Federal Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl recommended the Part Five review over the other option, a Part Six review, which would have required a federal environment assessment panel.
Ryan Barry, the Nunavut Impact Review Board's technical director, said a Part Six review would likely take longer to do, but he disagreed with suggestions that a federal panel would have conducted a more thorough assessment.
Public consultations for the Part Five review will begin as soon as possible, Barry said.
In the meantime, Areva's manager of Nunavut affairs, Barry McCallum, said the company is continuing to work on an environmental impact statement and feasibility report for the project.
(CBC Mar. 4, 2010)
> Download review documents (NIRB)
Baker Lake hunters, elders still oppose uranium mine
In a letter to the Nunavut Impact Review Board for the Baker Lake Concerned Citizens Committee, Joan Scottie said the committee opposes uranium mining in the Kivalliq region because:
(Nunatsiaq News Feb. 20, 2009)
- once one mine is opened it will be politically impossible to stop the development of others;
- mining activity will harm the Beverly and Qaminirjuaq caribou herds "upon which our culture as Caribou Inuit is based;"
- it will damage human and community health and infrastructure, and traditional activities;
- "there are very serious moral issues associated with uranium mining, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the storage of radioactive waste for countless generations to come."
Nunavut Impact Review Board invites comment on screening for Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project
By letter dated Jan. 20, 2009, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) informed "interested Parties and municipalities most affected by AREVA's project proposal" about the screening for Areva's Kiggavik uranium mine project and invited interested persons to comment by February 10, 2009." The comment period was later generously extended by one week to February 18, 2009.
On November 25, 2008, the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) received the "Kiggavik" mine project proposal from AREVA Resources Canada Inc. (AREVA). On November 26, 2008, the NIRB informed AREVA that the project proposal appeared to be located in an area which required conformity to the Keewatin Regional Land Use Plan (KRLUP). By January 16, 2009, the NIRB received a positive conformity determination from the Nunavut Planning Commission. The NIRB has assigned this project proposal file number 09MN003.
The proposed "Kiggavik" project is located in the Kivalliq Region, approximately 80 kilometres (km) west of Baker Lake. The project is a proposed uranium ore mining and milling operation that includes two properties: Kiggavik and Sissons (collectively called the Kiggavik Project). The project involves the development of three open pit mines at Kiggavik and both an open pit mine and an underground mine at Sissons. The project is expected to commence in mid 2012 with the pre-operational construction phase requiring 3 years. The planned operational life of the project is approximately 17 years with a post-operational decommissioning period of approximately 5 years.
> Download Screening documents : Project Proposal (64.5M PDF) · public comments filed (NIRB)
Areva aims at production start in 2016 at Baker Lake uranium mine
Barry McCallum, Areva's director of Nunavut affairs, said the company plans to release a formal project proposal Nov. 14, 2008. After that, the environmental approval process begins, and that could take years. The company hopes for production to start in 2016.
(Nunatsiaq News Nov. 7, 2008)
Kiggavik JV partners decide to proceed with feasibility study and to initiate approval process
The partners in the Kiggavik project have decided to proceed with a two-year feasibility study and to initiate the regulatory process to obtain the necessary approvals for a uranium mine and mill complex.
The Kiggavik project is said to be at an advanced exploration stage, with a resource estimate of some 57,000 tonnes of uranium at an average grade of about 0.24%. Areva will submit a project description in early 2008, commencing the regulatory process. The environmental assessment process is expected to take about four years, followed by several years of construction, before mining could begin as early as 2015.
(WNN Dec. 4, 2007)
Areva is opening office in Baker Lake to garner support for its proposed uranium mine
Areva Resources Canada is opening an office in Nunavut's Baker Lake to garner support for its proposed uranium mine.
Fifteen years ago, the Inuit hamlet of 1,500 rejected a proposed uranium mine.
(CBC 23 Oct. 2006)
Revocation of Mining Facility Removal Licence
Following a public hearing on April 18, 2002, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on May 16, 2002, announced its decision to revoke the Mining Facility Removal Licence for the Kiggavik-Sissons Project, operated by COGEMA Resources Inc. (CRI).
> View CNSC Release May 16, 2002
> Download Record of Proceedings, including the Reasons for Decision (PDF)
> Download Transcript of April 18, 2002, Hearing (PDF)
> Download amended CNSC Notice of Hearing (Feb. 6, 2002) (PDF)
> View deposit info
Inuit organization Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. signs agreement with uranium exploration company
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) has signed an agreement permitting a spin-off exploration company the right to explore for uranium.
Kaminak Gold Corporation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) earlier this year with NTI, which granted the exploration company the exclusive right to explore 18,000 acres of land approximately 300 km east of Rankin Inlet.
The deal grants Kaminak's spin-off, Kivalliq Energy Corporation , the exclusive right to explore on privately-held Nunavut land believed to host 11.6 million pounds of uranium [4,462 t U] in the Lac Cinquante Uranium Deposit.
The company's recent spin-off, Kivalliq Energy Corporation, will take on the project.
The agreement marks the first time a company has been officially granted the right to explore for uranium on privately-held Inuit lands by NTI, which owns the mineral rights to more than nine million acres in Nunavut.
While the bid is confidential, Kaminak paid NTI $50,000 after signing the agreement, and starting in December 2008, Kivalliq Energy will pay an advanced royalty of $50,000 to NTI every year until a mine begins production.
Under the terms of the MOU, after a feasibility study is finished on any part of the parcel, NTI can either take a 25 per cent participating interest or a 7.5 per cent net profits royalty in a mine.
(Northern News Services August 11, 2008)
Inuit organization Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is getting into the uranium business
A junior mining company from Vancouver, Kaminak Gold Corp. , announced Jan. 31, 2008, that it had struck a deal with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. (NTI) to explore for uranium in the Kivalliq region, about 200 km inland from Whale Cove.
The deal, or memorandum of understanding, is unusual for a few reasons.
It's the first time NTI has given permission for a company to hunt for the radioactive material on Inuit-owned land.
More importantly, the deal would give NTI partial ownership of the spin-off company created by Kaminak to search for uranium.
Under the deal with Kaminak, NTI would get one million shares of the new company, which has not yet been named. It's unclear how big a piece of the company this will be, as the total number of shares has not yet been announced.
NTI would also get an annual payment of $50,000 in royalties, as the owner of subsurface rights to the land.
And, once a feasibility study is complete, NTI would have the choice of either taking a 25 per cent interest in the company, or 7.5 per cent of net profits.
As well, if the company produces 12 million pounds [4,615 t U] of uranium, it must pay NTI $1 million.
The deal gives Kaminak the right to explore 18,000 acres. When added to surrounding properties that Kaminak controls, the company now has rights to explore 250,000 acres. It calls the whole area Angilak, which is Inuktitut for "biggest."
The property includes the high-grade Lac Cinquante deposit, which Kaminak believes holds 11.6 million pound [4,462 t U] of uranium.
(Nunatsiaq News Feb. 8, 2008)
> See also: NTI Grants Uranium Rights to Kaminak Gold, Feb. 7, 2008 (PDF - NTI)