Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Uravan may dump mine plans

Nunavut study cramps exploration: CEO

  • Print

A Calgary mining company may abandon its plan to explore for uranium in Canada's far north because rigid new guidelines -- partly intended to protect threatened caribou herds that make their way into Manitoba -- make it tough for them to do business in Nunavut."It will bring industry to a halt up there," Uravan Minerals Inc. CEO Larry Lahusen said Monday. "We can just walk away from it. We can sue the government for the $4 million we've spent on this project. We haven't decided."

Lahusen was responding to guidelines released Friday by the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) on what it expected of Uravan on a mandatory Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be done before the exploration project can be approved.

Included in the impact statement is what effect the project, involving aerial reconnaissance and test drilling, will have on caribou herds that migrate into northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The Free Press reported Sunday that one of these herds, the Beverly herd, has almost vanished, whereas a decade ago it numbered in the thousands. The concern is many aboriginal people living in northern Manitoba and the far north depend on the caribou for meat. Without caribou that meat source will have to be replaced, most likely by food flown from the south.

Lahusen said the new restrictions on Uravan -- it has to do the EIS in precise detail -- couldn't have come at a worse time as the mining industry is taking a huge hit due to the global recession.

He said the Nunavut review board's decision threatens the entire mining industry and job creation for many northerners.

The NIRB's guidelines for the impact statement come after months of protest from many northerners, wildlife experts and nature lovers. They lobbied against Uravan's proposal, saying it threatened sensitive caribou calving grounds. Caribou spook easily by low-flying aircraft and other development. That upsets their natural instincts and they veer off traditional migration routes, which in turn reduces calving.

Lahusen also said Uravan is caught between the Nunavut government and Ottawa over what's best for land-planning in the north.

"This I guess is a way to put industry between the meat and the sandwich," he said. "These bureaucracies are now allowed to create all these unnecessary studies."

bruce.owen@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 24, 2009 A5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets This Week: Quarter Season Analysis

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- WINTER FILE. Snowboarder at Stony Mountain Ski Hill. November 14, 2006.
  • Jia Ping Lu practices tai chi in Assiniboine Park at the duck pond Thursday morning under the eye of a Canada goose  - See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge Day 13- May 17, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the federal government force band chiefs and councillors to disclose their salary information?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google