Inuit government officially ends 3-year uranium mining moratorium in Canada’s Labrador

The Nunatsiavut Government of Labrador, a regional Inuit government formed in 2005, has officially lifted a three-year-old moratorium on uranium mining on Inuit lands, by enacting its Environmental Protection Act and an amendment to the Labrador Inuit Lands Act, said the body.

This legislation officially lifts a freeze on the working, production, mining and development of uranium on Labrador Inuit Lands, in Eastern Canada, that has affected companies since 2008.

On December last year, the Nunatsiavut Government voted in favour of lifting the uranium mining ban, but it wasn’t until last Thursday that mining companies are now allowed to explore for, produce and mine uranium in the area.

Crosshair Energy Corporation (CXZ), one of the firms to benefit from the Inuit government’s decision, is pleased with the end of the suspension.

“Labrador contains one of the largest undeveloped uranium resources in the world,” Stewart Wallis, President and CEO of Crosshair said in a statement released today. “Lifting this moratorium allows uranium companies operating in Labrador, such as Crosshair and Paladin, to advance their projects and paves the way for an economic infusion that mineral exploration and development will bring to the communities of Labrador.”

He added that, even though 92% of Crosshair’s Labrador property falls outside the Labrador Inuit Lands, the moratorium had a significant negative impact on the market value of all companies operating in that part of the province.

Paladin Energy’s Managing Director and CEO, John Borshoff, said the company sees its ambitions of becoming a major uranium-mining house a step closer. In a statement, the Australian company confirmed it will start exploring its assets by mid 2012, with drilling commencing by October. Paladin will focus on infill and extension drilling of the Michelin uranium deposit.

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