Natural Resources
April 14, 2008

Province Promotes Uranium Development Within its Jurisdiction

The Provincial Government continues to be committed to the mining industry and to building on the recent string of mining successes in the province. The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources, is clarifying the province�s position on mining in the wake the Nunatsiavut Government decision last week to place a three-year moratorium on uranium mining on Labrador Inuit Lands.

"We fully respect and appreciate that the Nunatsiavut Government is taking time to assess and fully understand issues related to uranium mining development on Labrador Inuit Lands," said Minister Dunderdale. "From our perspective, we are confident in our approach to managing uranium development and the regulatory role the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has over uranium mining in Canada. I want to ensure the mining community is aware that the rest of the province remains open to uranium development while the Nunatsiavut Government goes through this process."

The Nunatsiavut Government moratorium applies to the 15,800 km2 of Labrador Inuit Lands under the authority of the Nunatsiavut Government. The Nunatsiavut Government has jurisdiction over Labrador Inuit Lands, and defined rights and benefits in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. These are included in the terms of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which came into effect on December 1, 2005.

The Provincial Government is confident in the rules and standards that have been protecting workers, communities and the environment around uranium mining in Canada for more than 20 years. Uranium mines within the province would also be subject to the same provincial and federal environmental assessment processes that apply to any industrial development.

Newfoundland and Labrador�s mining industry enjoyed a record-breaking year in 2007 as a result of high metal prices, excellent mineral resources and policies and initiatives that encourage and welcome mineral development. Companies spent approximately $138 million exploring for minerals in the province last year compared to $98 million in 2006 and $44 million five years ago.

"The gold mine set to open at Pine Cove on the island�s Baie Verte Peninsula is the province�s fourth new mining operation in less than four years, which shows we are open for business in this global industry," Minister Dunderdale said. "The industry employs approximately 3,800 people in this province, mostly in rural areas. Our government and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador truly value the important role that environmentally-sustainable mining is playing in our communities."


Media contact:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241

2008 04 14                                                   3:25 p.m.


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