Canadian Inuit group issues uranium policy

26 September 2007

The board of Canada's main Inuit organization, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc (NTI), has unanimously approved a policy concerning uranium mining in the Nunavut territory of northern Canada.

In accordance with the policy, NTI will support uranium exploration and mining in Nunavut "if these activities are carried out with the objectives and policy statements set out in this policy, NTI's other policies, and all regulatory requirements." The decision effectively abandons a moratorium on uranium mining approved by Inuit voters in 1989.

James Eetoolook, first vice-president of NTI, said, "After several months of careful consultation with communities and various Inuit organizations and regulatory agencies, the NTI board of directors reviewed the policy concerning uranium mining and made a decision to approve it."

The policy states that "NTI recognizes that nuclear power will continue to be important as a global source of electricity for many years to come" and that NTI supports the mining of uranium in Nunavut "to help satisfy the global demand for electricity."

NTI is responsible for the management of all Inuit-Owned Lands in Nunavut and acts as the advocate of Inuit interests in Nunavut. The main Nunavut prospect is Kiggavik-Sissons Project, a large low-grade deposit in the Thelon Basin, 80 km west of Baker Lake, discovered by Germany's Urangesellshaft in the 1980s.

Both parts of the project are operated by Areva Resources Canada Inc., Sissons is held 50% by Areva in joint venture with JCU Exploration (Canada) Co. Ltd. (48%) and Daewoo Corporation (2%), and Kiggavik is held 99% by Areva and 1% by Daewoo. The resource comprises some 60,000 tonnes of U3O8 (historic basis).

Further information

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc

NTI: Policy Concerning Uranium Mining in Nunavut

WNA: Canada's Uranium Production & Nuclear Power