The Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs has issued a final decision to accept the Nunavut Impact Review Board’s recommendation to not approve the proposed Kiggavik Project at this time.
AREVA is very disappointed with this outcome. AREVA and its partners in this project spent over eight years and tens of millions of dollars on the environmental assessment process. The Kiggavik Project, demonstrated through the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) review, had no unresolvable issues and would provide positive, long-term benefits to the Kivalliq Region. Having start date uncertainty is not unique to this project and it occurs quite frequently in Canada given the timeline for approvals and constantly changing market conditions.
The Minister’s Decision itself makes note that uncertainty of start date is a common situation for proposed developments in the north and that provisions in the Nunavut Planning and Project Assessment Act and/or terms and conditions to a Project Certificate that accommodate uncertainty can largely address this issue. These provisions were discussed at length throughout the process and during the NIRB final hearing and we are obviously disappointed that they were not applied to the Project. As stated throughout the regulatory review process, AREVA was fully prepared to re-evaluate and confirm the accuracy of our predictions should there have been a significant delay in project start date and to evaluate performance against predictions throughout operations.
AREVA is fully aware that in order to have a successful development we require regulatory approvals, community engagement and support, and favorable economic conditions. At the end of this nearly eight year process, the question remains whether the Project, as designed, could meet the requirements for development in Nunavut at this time. Further, the decision by the authorities to not apply available remedies to take into consideration an uncertain project start date influences the company’s investment risk and future project advancement.
AREVA recently concluded our summer field season in Nunavut. There was no drilling, geophysics, prospecting, or geological mapping in 2016. A crew spent 10 days at the site transitioning and securing the exploration camp for care and maintenance. Given the decision on the project and the market conditions, there are no immediate plans to resume exploration activities.
We will take some time to decide our next steps and will discuss with our partners in this project in the coming months. AREVA continues to believe the Kiggavik Project is sound and can offer many benefits to Nunavut without compromising the environment.
On February 25, AREVA scientists and a consultant from Nunami Stantec met with the Chesterfield Inlet Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) to discuss the Environment Impact Statement that AREVA is developing for the Kiggavik Project. The Final Environmental Impact Statement, which AREVA plans to submit to the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) later this year, will include scientific information as well as information provided by people familiar with the land.
The scientists and HTO members reviewed the maps that contained the baseline data from the surveys conducted plus the information provided by hunters and elders during IQ interviews. As a result of the meeting, some additions were made to the maps. The group also discussed potential impacts on marine mammals from the shipping of materials to the mine site and emergency response measures. AREVA has met with the Chesterfield Inlet HTO about once a year since 2007 and will continue exchange information with the HTO going forward.
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.
AREVA Resources Canada was proud to take part in the Kivalliq Trade Show, which took place in Rankin Inlet from September 30 to October 2. The Trade Show, which brings together over 45 exhibitors and 160 delegates from across Nunavut, explored the theme “Road to Opportunities” for this year’s gathering. AREVA was also happy to support the event as a “Leading Partner”.
Barry McCallum, AREVA’s Manager of Nunavut Affairs, and Dan Zunti, Facility and Logistics Coordinator, attended the trade show and spent time discussing the proposed Kiggavik project with government officials, members of Inuit organizations, and other members of the Nunavut business community.
McCallum also provided a “Uranium 101” presentation to conference delegates. The presentation gave an overview on the global uranium industry, and provided specific focus on how companies such as AREVA work to protect employees and the environment from the radiation risks that uranium mining can present.
“The trade show was a great opportunity for companies working in the Kivalliq region to get together,” said MCallum. “This year’s theme, Road to Opportunities, is a perfect fit for what we’re doing at AREVA. The Kiggavik project has already created a number of economic opportunities for small businesses and willing workers across the Kivalliq region, and we believe these opportunities will continue to grow as the project moves forward.“
For more details on the Trade Show, please visit their website here.
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.