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
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.