MAC: Mines and Communities

Nunatsiavut government has no intention of lifting uranium mining moratorium

Published by MAC on 2009-06-02
Source: CBC News

In Labrador, the Nunatsiavut government has no intention of lifting its moratorium on uranium mining. The Inuit legislature put the ban in place one year ago, and it will continue for two more years. Paul Piggott filed this report:

The ban is crippling the uranium exploration business in Labrador. Only three junior exploration companies applied to do work here this summer, and none will drill any test holes. It means lost jobs for Labrador communities. This time last year Aurora Energy had more than 200 workers. Now they've only got eight. That hasn't diminished the resolve of the Inuit government though. Todd Broomfield is Lands and Resources Minister. He says people who have lost their jobs will just have to be patient.

"Hang in there. These companies aren't going away. We have the minerals."

Brumfield says a land-use plan must come first.

"We have to do this before we allow major developments on our land. I think it's very important to take the time to do it right."

It means hurry up and wait for exploration companies. Jerry O'Connell (sp) heads the provincial Chamber of Mineral Resources.

"We would love it if they chose to lift the moratorium and engage with Aurora. I think it would certainly bring in uranium explorers. But that's their choice and they've made it for the time being."

Nunatsiavut''s uranium development moratorium expires in the spring of 2011.

Paul Piggott, CBC News, Happy Valley - Goose Bay

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