AREVA Resources Canada has submitted the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for its Kiggavik Project to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB). Located 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake, the Kiggavik Project is a proposed uranium mining and milling operation owned by AREVA (64.8%), JCU (Canada) Exploration Co. Ltd. (33.5%) and DAEWOO Corporation (1.7%) and is operated by AREVA.
The work presented to NIRB reflects more than six years of engineering, environmental and public engagement studies. AREVA has sought community input and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) to refine the project design and environmental assessment. The submission includes detailed studies demonstrating that modern uranium development is safe for workers, the public and the environment.
AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project would require three to four years of construction, followed by approximately 14 years of operation based on estimated resources of 130 million pounds of uranium.
“We thank the people of Baker Lake and the Kivalliq Region for openly sharing their concerns and aspirations related to the potential development of the Kiggavik Project, in addition to the local knowledge they provided our team in the course of the studies performed for the final environmental impact statement,” said Vincent Martin, president and CEO of AREVA Resources Canada.
AREVA has a positive track record in Canada spanning more than 50 years ensuring the safety of employees, the public and the environment. The next steps in the Kiggavik environmental assessment include a technical review of the FEIS and public hearings to be held in Baker Lake.
While uranium market conditions do not currently favour a construction decision, completing the environmental assessment would allow the project to move forward with the next steps when the market improves as expected.
In early August AREVA’s team at the Kiggavik camp, about 80km west of Baker Lake, Nunavut, executed a Medical Evacuation (Medevac) exercise. This type of exercise ensures that the site emergency response procedures are adequate and the staff fully trained to potentially remove critically injured patients from the site promptly and safely. This year the scenario of this mock Medevac included an injured driller at a drill rig about 7km from the Kiggavik camp. An emergency response team of five was mobilized to the site following the mock emergency call. They completed the stabilization of the “patient” onto a spine board within the drill rig and then carried the acting-patient across the tundra to the waiting helicopter, which had been prepared to carry the stretcher. With its swift mobilization and precise emergency procedures delivery, the team demonstrated its proficiency and preparedness to deal with the potential need to evacuate workers.
This exercise comes on the heels of two recent successful rescues performed by our emergency and first aid staff within the past month for a family and a team of hunters from Baker Lake out who found themselves in an emergency situation out on the tundra. During these two occasions, the Kiggavik team demonstrated its ability to handle emergencies and also its community spirit with its timely answer to these calls for help from area residents.
Medevac exercises are integral parts of the Kiggavik camp health and safety program and are performed at least annually to ensure the emergency response team is well prepared.
Medical Evacuation Exercise at Kiggavik Exploration Camp. Stabilizing pretend-patient inside the drill rig.
Medical Evacuation Exercise at Kiggavk Exploration Camp. Loading pretend-patient in the helicopter.
Do you want to know more about the next steps the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) will be taking in its review of AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project in Nunavut?
Would you like to know how you can participate in the review process?
The answers to these questions and more will be presented during NIRB’s information session in Baker Lake on September 4, 2014 in the Community Hall at 6:30pm.
As a member of the community, AREVA employees are happy when they can lend a helping hand. A crew from AREVA’s Kiggavik project exploration camp provided assistance to a member of a hunting party requiring medical assistance and brought the man back to Baker Lake on July 22. This is second helicopter assistance in the Baker Lake area AREVA has provided this month.
Victor Aningaat, who suffers from a medical condition, was on a six-day seal hunt with friends and family members when he became ill and discovered he did not have enough medication. John Etegoyak, who was on the trip and works at the Kiggavik site, saw his friend suffering and called the AREVA Baker Lake office to see if AREVA could help.
AREVA sent a helicopter with health and safety specialist Curtis Rhinas to find the hunters where they were camping near the Quolch River about halfway between Baker Lake and Chesterfield Inlet. But first they stopped and picked up some of Aningaat’s medicine from the clinic in Baker Lake. After administering the medication to himself, he rested peacefully during the helicopter ride back to Baker Lake accompanied by his girlfriend and daughter.
In the picture below, Rhinas examines Aningaat near the Quolch River.