Nunavut regulator gives Areva more time
NIRB pushes back review process at Areva's request
The Nunavut Impact Review Board says Areva Resources Canada Inc. may take until Jan. 31, 2013 to prepare a preliminary response to technical review comments on its Kiggavik uranium mine project near Baker Lake.
Areva’s request to take several more months to respond to many requests for information on the project is “reasonable,” the NIRB said Oct. 15.
That decision came after the NIRB sent a stern letter last month to Areva because the company had told the regulator it would need several more months to respond to many requests for information — a step that usually takes only 30 days.
Areva then wrote the NIRB that it’s “committed to the environmental assessment process and has a long-term vision of contributing to Nunavut’s sustainable development.”
And the NIRB accepted Areva’s assurances that it will “participate in the NIRB’s review such that it may proceed in a ‘timely, predictable, and efficient manner.’”
After the NIRB receives Areva’s response package, the board will conduct “a preliminary completeness check” before starting a 60-day technical review period and scheduling the Kiggavik technical meeting next May and preliminary hearing conference to follow in June.
Several delays in the review process have pushed back the start-up of the Kiggavik project, once set to begin construction in 2017, to a production start in 2020.
Areva Resources Canada, a subsidiary of the Areva group of companies in France, wants to build, operate and decommission its Kiggavik uranium mine about 80 kilometres west of Baker Lake.
The company wants to extract uranium ore from open pits and an underground site, which would be processed at a mill, and then packaged and shipped out by air.
Sealifts and a winter access road would supply the mine site.
The mine, which would cost $2.1 billion to build over a four-year period and $240 million per year to operate, would generate up to 750 jobs during its construction and 600 jobs during its 14-year lifespan, as well as other indirect jobs.
Decommissioning would take another 10 years.