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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Kiggavik Community Liaison Committee Holds Meeting in Baker Lake

On the evening of Monday, July 22, the Kiggavik Community Liaison Committee (CLC) held their second regular meeting of 2013 at AREVA’s Kiggavik office in Baker Lake, NU.

The CLC meeting provided a forum for Committee members to discuss a number of issues with AREVA representatives.  A summary of topics discussed is:

  • There was an election of officers – Casey Tuluriak was re-elected as Chair and Jean Simailak was elected as Vice-Chair.
  • Timothy Eviuk, Wildlife Monitor described the wildlife monitoring that takes place at Kiggavik and the role of the Wildlife Monitor to ensure the program is carried out.
  • Diane Martens, Regulatory Process Manager, spoke about the recent Technical Meetings, Community Roundtable and Pre-Hearing Conference Report, as well as the next steps in the Kiggavik environmental review process. 
  • Brad Pohler, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Supervisor for Kiggavik’s exploration field season discussed the environment, radiation and safety programs carried out at Kiggavik.
  • Upcoming events, including AREVA’s Kivalliq Tour, which is scheduled for November 2013.

Minutes from the July 22 meeting will be made available on kiggavik.ca pending their approval at the next CLC meeting, scheduled for this coming fall/winter.

To view the latest set of approved bilingual minutes from the February 2013 CLC meeting, click here.

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Engagement will Continue Going Forward

With the completion of technical meetings and receipt of the Pre-Hearing Conference decision, AREVA Resources Canada is now preparing its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), scheduled for release on September 30, 2014. This FEIS will include  information from the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) in addition to information gained since the release of the DEIS in January 2012.  The process of gathering and responding to information requests and technical comments, followed by technical meetings and a Community Roundtable, has enabled a thorough review of AREVA’s draft document by a wide range of reviewers and stakeholders.  This process has resulted in AREVA making more than 300 commitments for inclusion in the FEIS. 

Engagement with communities and stakeholders has been, and will continue to be, an important component of the Kiggavik Environmental Assessment.  Since the release of the DEIS, AREVA has visited the seven Kivalliq communities for comments on the DEIS and significance determination, and has met with several organizations, including the Community Liaison Committee, Hamlet Councils, Hunters and Trappers Organizations, other wildlife organizations, elders groups, high schools, Kivalliq Mayors and many of the stakeholder groups that have commented on the DEIS.   

Going forward, AREVA plans to hold an open house this coming fall, and will continue to meet with stakeholders on a regular basis. 

“We consider it important to meet periodically with each stakeholder group so that the input we have is current and individuals can continue to make their opinions known to us.  The comment forms completed in our previous open houses indicated that people in the Kivalliq region prefer meetings and open houses as the best method of communication, and we intend to use these forums to continue dialogue as we progress forward,” said Barry McCallum, AREVA’s Manager of Nunavut Affairs.