Monday, December 31, 2012

Problems and Bans on Uranium Mining

Kazakhstan flag

Fire at sulfuric acid plant affects uranium production

A fire at a sulfuric acid production plant has led to rationing in Kazakhstan. KazAtomProm said supply problems should be resolved by the end of the year but it might have to revise uranium production forecasts for early 2008. Sulfuric acid is used as the main chemical reagent in in-situ leaching (ISL) uranium production, which is able to extract uranium with no need for excavation. In addition to disruption by fire at one plant, the start-up of some new facilities has also been delayed. The result has been rationing of acid, which could continue into the second quarter of 2008. The problem is particularly important for Kazakh uranium mining, which predominantly uses ISL and requires large amounts of non-reusable sulfuric acid to counter the neutralising effect of the high carbonate content of Kazakh orebodies. (WNA Nov. 5, 2007)

Penalty imposed on Muyunkum ISL mine: The Kazakhstan environmental department has imposed a penalty of 40 million Tenge (US$ 338,000) on KATCO for violations of environmental law. (Kazakhstan Today Aug. 4, 2008)
As KATCO refused to pay, the environmental department now turns to the administrative court for a forced penalty. (Kazakhstan Today Oct. 31, 2008)

Wind River road project for Cash Minerals' uranium exploration project in the Wernecke Mountains

Environmentalists in the Yukon are preparing to fight a proposed winter road in the Wind River area, arguing that it would threaten one of North America's finest watersheds. Cash Minerals external link, which is exploring for uranium in the central Yukon area, included a winter road along the river in its land-use application. The proposed road, which would lead to the company's uranium claims, would follow an old mining road known as the Wind River Trail north of Keno.

Protests against proposed uranium exploration at Foghorn property

Around 300 people gathered on July 10, 2006, to protest the exploration of uranium deposits on the Foghorn property, the possibility of a mine, and uranium mining in general. The protestors gathered outside the Clearwater Resource Centre, where International Ranger Corporation external link held an open house to answer questions and concerns citizens of the valley had about the drilling and exploration that the company has applied for a permit for from the The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. (Clearwater Times July 17, 2006)

Québec plans public inquiry into environmental impacts of uranium projects in the Province, delaying Matoush project

The Minister of the Environment of Québec plans to ask the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement external link (BAPE - Office of Public Inquiries on the Environment) to assess the impacts of uranium exploration and exploitation in the province.
This announcement dampens the enthusiasm of mining company Strateco Resources, which received CNSC approval for its Matoush exploration project on Wednesday (Oct. 17). On Thursday (Oct. 18), minister Breton declared that the company will have to wait for the conclusions to be drawn by BAPE. (Radio Canada Oct. 18, 2012)

Grand Council of the Crees demands moratorium on uranium mining in northern Québec

On Aug. 8, 2012, the General Assembly of the Grand Council of the Crees unanimously adopted a resolution demanding a moratorium on uranium mining in slightly less than half of the area covered by the Plan Nord of the liberal government [1.2 million square kilometres north of the 49th parallel]. The Cree are particularly worried about the radioactive wastes that will permanently be dumped on their territory, while there exist no proven methods to prevent the risks of contamination of humans and damage to the environment. (Le Devoir Aug. 9, 2012)

Petition for uranium moratorium presented to National Assembly of Québec

On Nov. 8, 2011, Amir Khadir, member of parliament of Mercier accepted to present a petition for a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining to the National Assembly of Québec. The petition was signed by 5,073 persons from the Bonaventure area (Gaspé peninsula). (L'Écho de la Baie Nov. 9, 2011)

Teachers' association takes position against uranium exploration and mining in northern Québec

The Association of employees of Northern Quebec (AENQ-CSQ), affiliated to the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), takes position against the exploration and exploitation of uranium ore, whether it be in Mistissini or Kangiqsualujjuaq. The Association of Employees of Northern Quebec has over 1,500 members. It represents, teachers and support staff of the Cree and Kativik school boards as well as employees of childcare centres in the Cree Territory. (AENQ Oct. 29, 2010)

Petition against nuclear power and for uranium moratorium presented to National Assembly of Québec

A petition launched by Artists for Peace and signed by 4300 people demands that Québec retracts completely from nuclear energy, from prospection for uranium to its use in nuclear power plants. The petition was presented to the National Assembly by Amir Khadir, member of parliament of Mercier on Mar. 18, 2010. (Radio Canada Mar. 18, 2010)

Petitions for uranium moratorium presented to National Assembly of Québec

On Feb. 17, 2010, three petitions demanding a moratorium for uranium exploration and mining in Québec have been presented to the National Assembly of Québec. The petitions were signed by almost 14,000 persons. (Radio Canada Feb. 17, 2010)

Moratorium on uranium exploration in Québec denied

Québec vice minister of natural resources Serge Simard does not intend to follow demands of the mouvement Côte-Nord sans uranium to impose a moratorium on uranium exploration. (Radio Canada Nov. 16, 2009)

Uranium exploration in Betsiamites reservation

Inuit oppose uranium mining in northern Québec: For two weeks already, Inuit inhabitants have established a camp at the exit of the Betsiamites reservation. They protest against the Province government's Plan Nord for the exploitation of the natural resources of Northern Québec. Among others, they complained about the fact that uranium will not be excluded from the list of exploitable minerals. (Le Devoir Jun. 1, 2011)

Uranium exploration in Gaspé peninsula

Uranium exploration project near Pointe-à-la-Croix abandoned after protests: Terra Firma Resources Inc. has decided to abandon its uranium exploration project near Pointe-à-la-Croix. (Radio Canada Apr. 21, 2011)
Property owners of Pointe-à-la-Croix forbid exploration company to enter their ground: More than 125 property owners have sent registered letters forbidding access to their ground to the company Terra Firma Resources Inc. The company wants to explore uranium deposits in the Pointe-à-la-Croix area. (Radio Canada Apr. 13, 2011) Doctors and Métis demand moratorium for uranium exploration in Gaspé peninsula 18 medical doctors in the Baie des Chaleurs area have signed an open letter demanding the halt of uranium exploration at Pointe-à-la-Croix and Escuminac. The Métis community of Gaspé, too, has demanded a moratorium. (L'Écho de la Baie Feb. 1, 2011)
On Feb. 2, 2011, the Conseil d'administration of the Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-des-Chaleurs external link (CSSSBC) has demanded the Québec government to impose a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining on the territory of Baie-des-Chaleurs, until the results of a study on the health effects of uranium are available. The results of the study conducted by experts of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec external link (INSPQ) are expected in winter 2012.
> Download CSSSBC communique Feb. 2, 2012 external link (PDF - in French) Uranium exploration on Gaspé peninsula faces obstacles The uranium exploration planned by Terra Firma Resources Inc. external link on its Restigouche property on Gaspé peninsula faces obstacles: the most promising Cross Point block is soon to be added to the Listuguj Indian Reserve external link; in addition, the mayor of Pointe-à-la-Croix firmly opposes uranium exploration and mining at the Mann block and supports the newly formed Coalition Stop uranium Baie des Chaleurs external link. (Le Soleil Nov. 25, 2010)

Uranium exploration in Mingan area

Company postpones uranium exploration project in Mingan area due to anti-uranium stir in Québec: Gimus Resources Inc. announced on Nov. 2, 2012: "Considering the recent developments in the uranium sector in Québec, the Company decided to postpone any additional exploration work on its Baie Johann-Beetz Property."
Municipalities oppose uranium mining in Mingan area: Petition against uranium exploration in Mingan area: The group "Minganie sans uranium" will present a petition with more than 900 signatures to the city council of Havre-Saint-Pierre Monday night (Nov. 7). The petition demands the council members to adopt a resolution opposing uranium exploration and mining. The other seven municipalities of the Mingan area have adopted such resolutions already. (Radio Canada Nov. 7, 2011)
On Nov. 7, 2011, the city council of Havre-Saint-Pierre adopted a resolution against uranium exploration and mining. The group "Minganie sans uranium" now plans to ask the regional county municipality (MRC) of Minganie to take position against the uranium activities. (Radio Canada Nov. 8, 2011) In response to a complaint filed by citizens of the Côte-Nord area, the Ministry of Environment of Québec external link will send an inspector to the uranium exploration site near Baie-Johan-Beetz. The citizens fear an impact of the drilling operations on their drinking water resource. (Le Soleil Jul. 13, 2011) The municipality of Baie-Johan-Beetz and several others oppose any uranium mining in the Mingan area. Currently, Uracan Resources external link is exploring a site 10 km north of Baie-Johan-Beetz. (Radio Canada Jan. 25, 2010)

Uranium exploration in Nunavik

NGOs and local government oppose uranium exploration and mining near proposed Kuururjuaq Park in Nunavik (Québec): Uranium exploration companies don't want Kuururjuaq, Nunavik's second provincial park, to prevent them from mining near the area. But several other groups want to see park boundaries expanded by 1,800 sq km to protect rare fossils, pristine lakes, and caribou breeding grounds nearby. Arguments for the two opposing views surfaced during public hearings held March 14 and 15, 2007 external link, in Kangiqsualujjuaq on planning for Kuururjuaq Park. Azimut Exploration Inc. external link, a Montreal-based firm with a uranium property near Kuururjuaq, strongly opposes any limits on mineral exploration or mining near the park.
But Makivik Corporation external link said the birthright organization has "very serious reservations" about plans for uranium mining near Kuururjuaq, which includes a scenic mineral-rich belt near the Torngat Mountains. And the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society external link and the Kativik Regional Government external link (KRG) want to see a buffer zone as well as an expansion of the park's boundaries at Mont Nuvulialuk and around Tasikallak Bay. These groups want the park's boundaries expanded by 1,800 sq km at the south and north ends to protect fossils and lakes near Tasikallak and unique land features near Nuvialuk that date back to the last ice age, including rocky ice fields and remnants of ancient shorelines. (Nunatsiaq News Apr. 20, 2007)

Uranium exploration in Hautes-Laurentides

Demonstration against uranium exploration in Québec: On June 3, 2006, about 70 people gathered at Mont-Laurier to protest against uranium exploration in Québec. The demonstration was organized by the environmental organisation l'Association pour la Protection de l'Environnement des Hautes-Laurentides (APEHL) external link, and a group of students. (L'Écho de la Lièvre, June 20, 2006)

Lac Kachiwiss project

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Trade associations join opposition to uranium exploration at Lac Kachiwiss

Développement économique Sept-Îles (DESI) and the chamber of commerce of Sept-Îles join the municipality to increase the vigilance against the uranium exploration project at lac Kachiwiss. The two organizations are strictly opposed to the project. (Radio Canada Dec. 16, 2009)

Demonstration at Sept-Îles against uranium exploration and mining in Québec

More than 1200 people joined a demonstration against uranium exploration and mining in Québec, organized by the group Sept-Îles Sans Uranium external link at Sept-Îles on Dec. 13, 2009. (Radio Canada/Le Soleil Dec. 13, 2009)

Terra Ventures Inc. puts uranium exploration at controversial Lac Kachiwiss project on hold

On Dec. 11, 2009, Terra Ventures Inc. announced that "Due to current market conditions with respect to U3O8 pricing, the Company did not conduct any core drilling on the Lac Kachiwiss property in 2009. In addition, with the onset of winter, construction work has ceased on the access route to the property. [...]"