This year, the Kiggavik exploration camp opened on June 11, 2015 and plans are set to close by the end of August. This year the camp is supported by ten (10) Baker Lake seasonal staff, several of them are returning staff from previous seasonal work with AREVA. Once again many local, northern businesses are providing goods and services. The total value of AREVA’s goods and services spending with Kivalliq and Nunavut contractors is tracked and reported in AREVA’s Kiggavik Project Field Program Annual Report. Previous reports are available on this Kiggavik Project website HERE or on the Nunavut Impact Review Board site HERE. We will post this year’s field program report on this blog once it is finalized later in the year.
Since the start of this summer field season, the exploration crew has drilled 4,990 m (as of July, 25, 2015) and is expecting to reach a total of 8,400 m drilled for the 2015 season. Drilling is the creation of “core”, a cylindrical sample of bedrock that is about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter. The length of the core sample varies with most holes at Kiggavik drilled to a depth of about 300 m (1,000 feet). The core is placed in wooden boxes and stored at the Kiggavik site where geologists study them to evaluate the possibility of finding a new deposit or the shape, grade, and other aspects of potential and known deposits. Select pieces of core are also commonly sent to AREVA’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan exploration office for further study including chemical analysis.
With the short, seasonal summer programs at Kiggavik, our researchers cannot do all the work they want or plan to do on the cores so this year AREVA plans to send whole cores (not pieces) from two holes drilled within the Kiggavik deposits to Saskatoon and then to our mine site at McClean Lake in northern Saskatchewan. This will allow us to do further, year-round research on the Kiggavik core/deposits at the McClean Lake site. Similar to previous transport of core pieces, the planned transport of whole core will follow the relevant federal, territorial, and provincial rules and regulations for the transportation of these samples. The whole core will be transported south in core boxes inside a small, certified sea container and the core piece samples will be transported in small certified pails.
It takes many exploration field programs to determine the full extent of a deposit, for example exploration work was first carried out at Kiggavik in the late 1970’s, then in the late 1980’s and then again between 1993 and 1997 by a previous company. After a nine year exploration suspension, AREVA resumed annual field programs at Kiggavik in the spring of 2007 and has had drilling programs in the area ever since. You can learn more about the Kiggavik Project history here (Final Environmental Impact Statement Tier 1 Volume 1 Part 1 Section 1.4).
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.
A group of Baker Lake youth got out of a sticky situation last week thanks to AREVA with some help from a Kivallingmiut Aviation helicopter and Peter’s Expediting Ltd.
On June 28, a group of young people left Baker Lake by boat for a day trip to the Kazan River. But when it was time to return, the wind shifted causing ice to block their way home and forcing them to spend the night waiting for the wind to change direction.
However, one member with a medical condition did not have the medical supplies for a long stay. The group called Baker Lake for help. After trying and failing to reach the group by boat, the boy’s grandfather contacted William Noah, AREVA’s representative in Baker Lake. He asked if AREVA could help by sending a helicopter.
William contacted AREVA’s Kiggavik Project site and provided coordinates. Soon a helicopter from Kiggavik arrived with an employee from Peter’s Expediting who was familiar with the area and some snacks for the group. The helicopter quickly found the group and transported the boy and two others back to Baker Lake. The rest of the group was happy to stay a bit longer fortified with some snacks from Kiggavik.
The Kiggavik Project exploration team is back in Baker Lake and area! The AREVA’s summer exploration field season in Nunavut kicked off on June 7 with the arrival of the Kivallingmiut Aviation helicopters in Baker Lake. Just two days later, on June 9, the first AREVA charter flight of the season brought AREVA’s geologists, environment protection and safety supervisors and other technical staff. Once at the Kiggavik camp was open, the drillers arrived on June 12 and began drilling a couple days later after setting up their rigs.
This year, the drilling crew includes three Nunavummiut who have graduated from the Arviat Diamond Drilling Program. And, as in past years, there are also several residents of Baker Lake including six providing camp operations and wildlife monitoring services, two cooks’ helpers and an helicopter logistics assistant. With everyone now at site for their first shift, the 2014 exploration field season is off to a good start!
On January 31, 2014 in compliance with its Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada permit, its Kivalliq Inuit Association Land Use Licence and its Nunavut Water Board Licence, AREVA Resources Canada submitted its Kiggavik Project Field Program 2013 Annual Report.
This report provides a summary of the Kiggavik Project exploration activities conducted in 2013. The exploration field program, undertaken between June 19 and September 1, 2013, focused on diamond drilling to further evaluate potential deposits. The team drilled over 10,500 metres in 39 holes.
The Kiggavik Project put in place environmental management plans during the field program to prevent or reduce any potential adverse effects from our exploration activities. We also implemented our occupational health, safety and radiation protection programs to ensure workers performed their tasks in a safe and responsible manner and were not exposed to potentially adverse effects from uranium exploration activities. As part of our integrated management system, AREVA maintained its ISO 14001:2004 environmental certification and its OHSAS 18001:2007 occupational safety certification.
Read the full 2013 Annual Report here.