Yesterday, our Manager Nunavut Affairs, Barry, was happy to attend some of the Nunavut Day celebrations in Baker Lake. He particularly enjoyed watching the Inuit games and spending time witht Mayor Joedee Joedee, MLA Simeon Mikkungwak and some of the Elders. Once again, as we have for many years, AREVA was happy to sponsor some of the entertainment and attend the celebrations. Many thanks to the residents of Baker Lake for a great Nunavut Day!
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 Nunavut Impact Review Board-led final hearing for the proposed Kiggavik Project ended on Saturday, March 14, 2015. After over six years of public and regulatory review and a 12-day final public hearing, the proceedings concluded with final closing statements (Transcript Volume 11 March 14, 2015) by Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Kivalliq Inuit Association, Government of Nunavut, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Hamlet of Baker Lake, Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization, Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Management Board, Nunavummiut Makitagunarningit, Paula Kigjugalik Hughson, AREVA Resources Canada, Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Panel and Board Staff. The final comments by community members are found in Transcript Volume 10 starting on page 2242.
On Thursday April 24, the NIRB communicated the final hearing report for its review of the proposed Kiggavik Project would be issued by Friday May 8, 2015.
The attached text is AREVA Resources Canada’s closing statements available HERE on NIRB’s transcripts site and starting on page 2375.
Attachment: Final Hearing Spoken AREVA Closing Statement
- 1 final public hearing organized by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) from March 2 to 14, 2015
- 1 hearing days lost to blizzard conditions and the inability of the interveners to travel to Baker Lake, Nunavut
- 6 ½ years to advance the proposed Kiggavik Project from an initial project proposal (November 2008) to a final hearing (March 2015)
- 7 communities in the Kivalliq Region, all of which were represented at the hearing
- 11 full days of final hearing, transcripts available HERE
- 12 hours daily average length of the hearing, 9AM to 9PM
- 16 interveners including representatives from municipal governments, territorial and federal government agencies, aboriginal and non-governmental organizations from Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan
- 45 days expected for the NIRB to make a recommendation, the recommendation will be publically available on the NIRB FTP site HERE
- 80 exhibits submitted as evidence during the hearing, exhibits are available HERE
- 443 stakeholder and engagement events leading up to the final environmental impact statement and final hearing that informed issues, concerns, preferences, design, proposed mitigation and monitoring, and acceptability of the proposed Kiggavik Project
- 2,140 people living in Baker Lake, the nearest community to the proposed Project (~80km away) and the host community for the hearings
Due to the inclement weather in Baker Lake over the week-end, many of the parties expected to participate participate in the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) Final Hearing on AREVA’s proposed Kiggavik Project were unable to arrive in Baker Lake in time for the start of the hearing today. NIRB has now postponed the commencement of the Final Hearing until tomorrow, Tuesday, March 3 at 1:00pm.
Like many others, AREVA’s representatives were unable to make it to Baker Lake yesterday as planned but did fly in safely this afternoon and will be ready to present the findings of our Kiggavik Project Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow afternoon with the overview and the presentation on the atmospheric environment.
You can view the full Final Hearing agenda prepared by NIRB here.
AREVA’s team looks forward to presenting its proposed Kiggavik Project FEIS and answering NIRB and the intervenors questions through this process.