On May 8, 2015 the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) issued a recommendation that the proposed Kiggavik project not be approved at this time. NIRB clarified that the intention was not for the project to not proceed at any time but suggested the proposal be resubmitted at a future date when the project’s start date is more certain. The NIRB recommendation is before the federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development for a decision to accept, reject, or return the report to the NIRB for more consideration.
AREVA disagrees with the NIRB recommendation to not provide an environmental assessment (EA) approval for the Kiggavik project at this time. As supported by the Final Environmental Assessment Statement and submissions of federal authorities at the NIRB Final hearing, there are no significant unresolvable environmental issues in the proposed Kiggavik project.
Obtaining EA approval for projects in advance of a certain development date enables companies to capitalize on favorable market conditions when they exist. Having the EA approval in hand shortens the post-EA regulatory process to licensing and allows a project to proceed to development and operation in a more timely fashion. If the Minister rejects the recommendation and approval is received, the Kiggavik project will be more likely to receive approval from shareholders to proceed to development when market conditions are favorable.
The EA for the Kiggavik project took place over eight years and included intensive engagement, IQ workshops and integration, technical studies, and review by responsible authorities and many interested parties. AREVA has followed the process outlined in the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) and continues to do so. AREVA respects Nunavummiut, the NLCA, and the authority of the NIRB. We have generally found all participants in the review to be highly professional and competent and believe it is responsible for us to publically raise our concerns for consideration in the final decision.
Ultimately, we are not the decision-makers but we are asserting that the environmental assessment for the Kiggavik project is sound and the approval should therefore be provided. Being a welcomed and productive part of the region is important to AREVA and these values do not change when we express disagreement with a regulatory process, recommendation, or decision.
The first uranium ore produced at the Cigar Lake mine, which is operated by Cameco in northern Saskatchewan, departed today for AREVA’s McClean Lake Mill, located approximately 70 kilometres away.
The Cigar Lake project represents a $2.6 billion investment and will employ more than 600 highly skilled workers, the majority of whom are northern Saskatchewan residents. As many as 1,000 people worked on the construction of the mine, which relies on a high-pressure water jet boring mining system for production.
All of the ore is expected to be processed at the McClean Lake Mill, which is operated by AREVA, beginning by the end of the second quarter of 2014. With a production capacity of 10,900 tons of uranium per year, the McClean Lake Mill is expected to produce 770 to 1,100 tons of uranium concentrate from Cigar Lake ore in 2014. Its annual production rate will ramp up to 8,100 tons by as early as 2018.
“Thanks to Cameco’s technology for the Cigar Lake mine and AREVA’s for processing this uranium ore, we are proud that production from this unique deposit has begun. Our industrial partners and Saskatchewan’s economy will benefit from this project for many years to come,” said Olivier Wantz, senior executive vice president of AREVA’s mining business group.
(Photo of Cigar Lake operation by Cameco.)
AREVA Celebrates 50 Years of Operations in Canada
OTTAWA, February 26, 2014 – AREVA is pleased to celebrate this year the 50th anniversary of its operations in Canada. AREVA employs more than 500 people located throughout several Canadian provinces and Nunavut that are engaged in developing a range of solutions for low-carbon power generation. In addition to being one of Canada’s leading uranium producers, AREVA provides services and engineering for Canadian nuclear reactors and manufactures radiation detection equipment.
“Our success is the product of the hard work and dedication over the years of our many employees and the support of their families and our host communities throughout Canada. AREVA is today making major investments in our operations in Canada to position ourselves for the next 50 years,” said Vincent Martin, president and CEO of AREVA Resources Canada.
“Over the past half century, AREVA has grown deep roots in the Canadian nuclear industry. We are grateful to have the confidence of our customers and to provide them with a full range of nuclear products and services, both in Canada and worldwide,” said Jean-Francois Beland, executive vice president of AREVA Canada.
Read the full AREVA Celebrates 50 Years in Canada here.
Also check out the new 50th anniversary video here.
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.