One of MiningWatch Canada's fundamental principles is that mining activiities, including exploration should only occur with the support of local communities. Our uranium policy also calls for a moratorium on new uranium projects.
In the last year we have seen the emergence of a consensus between the Innu Nation, elected officials, doctors and community organizers to demand a halt to uranium exploraiton by Terra Ventures Inc. near the town of Sept-Îles, Quebec on the north shore of St. Lawrence River. Unfortunately, to date, the Government of Quebec has not heard these local voices.
- As of January 2009, Terra Ventures had staked nearly 3000 mining claims over 150,500 ha of land for its Lake Kachiwiss Project.
- Construction of an access road and exploration began in 2008.
- 4000 m of test cores have been drilled. Investigation of the exploration sites by local residents have shown poor adherence to environmental stanadards.
- Exploration activities are occuring adjacent to the municipal boundary and within the watershed that provides Sept-Îles with its drinking water.
- Local residents formed Sept-Iles Sans Uranium in 2008 to pressure the Quebec government to place a moratorium on uranium exploraiton in Quebec.
- In March 2009 a creative protest saw 250 snowmobilers ride out to Lake Kachiwiss to make a compelling statement of their concern.
- On December 3, 2009 a year after formally indicating their opposition to the Kachiwiss project, twenty of the town's doctors submited letters of resignation in protest of the continued operations of Terra Ventures.
- On December 7, 2009 Chief Georges-Ernest Grégoire of the Innu community of Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam supported the Sept-Îles doctors commenting that "If the doctors are resigning, that says it all. I am in total agreement with them and support their decision."
- On December 10, the Regional Council of Elected Officials decided to support the position of Sept-Iles Sans Uranium against the Lake Kachiwiss Project.
MiningWatch supports and congratulates the efforts of the residents of Sept-Îles, the community of Takuaikan Uashat mak Mani-Utenam, the doctors, and the Regional Council for taking a firm stand to protect their region from the risks of uranium mining.