Proposed Uranium Mine in Nunavut Sparks Debate About Caribou Calving Grounds

- March 5th, 2015

The Globe and Mail reported Sunday that the proposed uranium mine near Baker Lake, Nunavut has caused local concern regarding nearby caribou calving grounds. Areva Group has been considering this project since at least 1997 and current plans have been before the regulator since 2007.

The Globe and Mail reported Sunday that the proposed uranium mine near Baker Lake in Nunavut has caused local concern regarding nearby caribou calving grounds. Areva Group  has been considering this project since at least 1997 and current plans have been before the regulator since 2007. Final hearings begin Monday before the Nunavut Impact Review Board on a second proposal to build the mine.

As quoted in the market news:

French nuclear giant Areva Group is proposing to build one underground and four open-pit mines just west of Baker Lake, on the edge of the calving grounds of one of the North’s great caribou herds and near the largest and most remote wildlife sanctuary on the continent. Areva’s plans would empty part of a lake, build a road through the habitat of a declining caribou herd and stretch a bridge across a Canadian heritage river. Planes loaded with radioactive concentrate would take off from its airstrip and barges with the same cargo would leave from its dock on Baker Lake.

The $2.1-billion project would provide at least 400 jobs, many reserved for local Inuit. Its annual payroll would be $200-million for at least 17 years.

Hilu Tagoona, anti-uranium group Makitagunarningit spokeswoman, commented:

Our big concern is the caribou and their calving grounds. At the very least, some protections should be created for the calving grounds in advance of any industrial development being approved for the area.

Areva spokesman Barry McCallum commented:

We believe we’ve got a very good environmental assessment. We’re looking forward to participating in the hearings. There’s a lot you can do with recommendations.

Click here to read the full Globe and Mail report.

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