Kivalliq Residents Tour AREVA’s McClean Lake Operation in Northern Saskatchewan

One of the best ways to learn about uranium mining is to visit a mine.  On Dec 3 and 4, AREVA’s McClean Lake Site hosted a group of 21 Kivalliq residents for a tour of its uranium mill and facilities.  Representatives from the seven Kivalliq communities participated.  The group included four representatives of the Kiggavik Community Liaison Committee in Baker Lake, a teacher and two students from Jonah Amitna’aq High School in Baker Lake, three representatives from the Kivalliq Inuit Association, representatives from six Hunters and Trappers Organizations and four from Hamlet Councils.  

The group toured the former mining areas in the process of being reclaimed and the mill currently being modified to process high-grade ore from Cigar Lake mine scheduled to start production in early 2014.  The visit included an overnight stay at the McClean Lake camp, which allowed many to participate in the recreational activities offered and interact with AREVA’s employees in a less formal environment after a full day discussing the technical aspects of a uranium milling operation. 

 We thank all the participants to this visit and look forward to hosting many more Kivalliq residents in the future.

21 Kivalliq Residents spent Dec 3-4, 2013 at AREVA's McClean Lake operation in Northern Saskatchewan.

21 Kivalliq Residents spent Dec 3-4, 2013 at AREVA’s McClean Lake operation in Northern Saskatchewan.

21 Kivalliq residents tour AREVA's McClean Lake mill in Northern Saskatchewan on Dec 3-4, 2013

21 Kivalliq residents tour AREVA’s McClean Lake mill in Northern Saskatchewan on Dec 3-4, 2013

AREVA Completes Tour of Kivalliq Communities

AREVA held its last open house on Nov. 21 in Arviat, wrapping up a successful tour of Kivalliq communities. The open houses allowed residents of these communities to learn more about AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project and for the residents to provide feedback to AREVA about possible improvements to the project.

AREVA has proposed developing a uranium mining operation about 80 km west of Baker Lake, Nunavut, which would be the first of its kind in the territory. After submitting a draft environment impact statement in 2012, the project is undergoing an environmental assessment by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). AREVA plans to submit a final environmental impact statement in late 2014. 

During the tour, AREVA representatives visited seven Kivalliq communities, starting in Baker Lake. The tour continued with Repulse Bay, Coral Harbour, Chesterfield Inlet, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet and Arviat.

In many communities, they met with the hamlet councils or a hamlet representative. They met with hunter and trapper organizations in several communities. They also met with local high school students in the communities to discuss potential jobs in the mining sector and the skills required for them and to discuss the Kiggavik Environment Assessment.

At the open houses held in the six communities, more than 250 residents signed in. The open house was postponed in Coral Harbour due to events there.

“We got to talk with many residents about monitoring the potential impacts of the project and ways to mitigate any such impacts if they occur. We’ll incorporate the information obtained into the final environmental impact statement,” said Barry McCallum, Manager of Nunavut Affairs.

“We appreciate the honest feedback we received about the proposed project so we can make it the best it can be. We also appreciate the warm welcome and hospitality in the communities and look forward to our next meetings,” McCallum said.

An article in Nunatsiaq News provides a nice roundup of AREVA’s tour.

AREVA’s Commitment to Homeland Visits

For the past few years, AREVA has helped several of Nunavut’s Kivalliq region elders revisit their ancestral homelands. This past July, AREVA organized a homeland visit for the Tiktaalaaq and Noah families on the shores of the Canadian Heritage Kazan River.

You can live this experience with them as their memories of times past come back and the grave sites of Kazan people are honoured. View the video here: Homeland Visit 2013

We sincerely thank Winnie Owingayak, Jean Simailak and Martha Taliruq for providing the music. This song recounts the journey of hunters connecting with the weather and the land.

 

AREVA Hosts Open Houses on Kiggavik Project

AREVA is hosting a series of open houses Nov. 13-21 in seven Kivalliq communities focusing on its proposed Kiggavik Project. Residents from the communities are encouraged to stop by to learn more about the Kiggavik Project and pose questions or offer comments to the AREVA team members there.

More than 100 residents attended the first two days of the open house in Baker Lake, NU, the closest community to the proposed project. The Kiggavik Project is located 80 km west of Baker Lake. On Nov. 15, AREVA held an open house at Repulse Bay, near the Arctic Circle, which was attended by some 25 local residents. The tour concludes at Arviat on Nov. 21.

In each community, AREVA representatives are available to meet with people interested in finding our more about the Kiggavik Project. Residents can also ask questions about AREVA’s draft environmental impact statement on the Kiggavik Project, which was submitted to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) in 2012. Earlier this year, AREVA provided responses to more than 400 technical comments from various organizations about the project.

One key goal of the open houses is to receive feedback from residents on how to improve the project especially regarding how the project would monitor potential environmental effects and how it would mitigate any potential effects. This feedback may be incorporated in the final environmental impact statement, which the company expects to submit to NIRB late next year.

In addition, AREVA staffers meet with local high school students to discuss potential careers in the uranium mining sector. They also fielded many questions about uranium mining, nuclear energy and other energy sources from students and teachers.

For more information about the Kiggavik Project, please visit: www.kiggavik.ca.

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AREVA Supports Kivalliq Science Camp

A group of 32 students and their teachers from the Kivalliq region recently spent a week learning about geology, first aid, and the global positioning system (GPS) at the Kivalliq Science Camp, which was held from September 4-9. The camp, which is run by the Kivalliq Science Educators Community (KSEC), aims to provide students with hands-on learning experiences that complement the theory that is taught within the walls of a classroom. AREVA Resources has been a proud sponsor of the Science Camp since 2007 and participated for the third time in the week’s events.

Along with speaking to the students about geology in the Kivalliq region, health, safety and Environmental Protection at the Kiggavik camp and the Nunavut Environmental Assessment process, AREVA Resources also provided each student with the opportunity to go for a helicopter ride. This aspect of the camp was particularly well-received, as 30 out of 32 students listed the ride as their favorite part of the camp.

Despite less than cooperative weather, camp organizer Glen Brocklebank said the students remained enthusiastic and engaged throughout the week. An especially exciting aspect was the lessons that participants shared amongst themselves, including when some of the students from Repulse Bay, who are experienced with camping, showed the others how to light a stove and lantern.

“AREVA is always excited to get involved with activities involving youth within the Kivalliq region. This event is especially important to us, as workers with a science-based background will make up a sizeable portion of AREVA’s Kiggavik workforce. It just makes sense for us to help the schools with developing an interest in the field early on,” said Barry McCallum, AREVA’s Manager of Nunavut Affairs.

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