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GN announces Uranium Policy Statement

06 June 2012

Iqaluit, Nunavut (June 6, 2012) – The Government of Nunavut (GN) today announced its Uranium Policy Statement that seeks to maintain a balanced approach to uranium mining. This policy statement was formulated after months of consultation, research and deliberation.

“The government’s Uranium Policy Statement builds on the six principles of uranium development that were set out in 2007, and also recognizes the regulatory authorities in place, including those established by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement,” said Peter Taptuna, Minister of Economic Development & Transportation. “We will ensure any decisions we make support safe and responsible development that provides substantive and sustainable benefits to Nunavut without harming our environment.”

The policy statement is the result of work that began in 2007 with the release of Parnautit: A foundation for the future, Mineral Exploration and Mining Strategy and the development of the GN’s six principles on uranium. 

The government completed a study of regulatory and governance responsibilities and key issues and concerns surrounding uranium development in the territory in February 2011, and held a series of public forums on uranium in March and April 2011. 

“Based on the research and what we heard at consultations this government developed its policy statement on uranium issues,” said Taptuna. “The policy statement recognizes that uranium mining is of concern to some Nunavummiut, but that, when properly managed, can be of benefit to our territory.” 

For more information visit: 


Media Contact:

Matthew Illaszewicz 

Manager, Communications

Economic Development & Transportation 

Government of Nunavut

(867) 975-7818 

Government of Nunavut Uranium Policy Statement

The Government of Nunavut regards mining as an important potential source of revenues to meet the needs of Nunavut’s growing population and also as a potential source of employment and associated skills development for Nunavummiut. 

The Government of Nunavut recognizes that uranium exploration and mining places special responsibilities on government because of the nature of uranium and its by-products, the history of its use for both peaceful and non-peaceful purposes, and its potential risks to human health and the environment. 

The Government of Nunavut recognizes the jurisdiction of the Nunavut Impact Review Board and the Nunavut Water Board as established by the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement in the regulation of uranium exploration and mining. 

The Government of Nunavut recognizes that uranium is subject to international agreements and national laws. The Government of Nunavut supports the mandate and responsibilities of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

When the Government of Nunavut has opportunity to communicate a position on a specific uranium development project, that position will be guided by Government of Nunavut uranium exploration and mining principles set out below. 

The Government of Nunavut will support the exploration and mining of uranium subject to the following principles:

1. Uranium mined in Nunavut shall be used only for peaceful and environmentally responsible purposes.

2. Nunavummiut must be the major beneficiaries of uranium exploration and mining activities.

3. The health and safety of workers involved in uranium exploration and mining and all Nunavummiut shall be protected to national standards.

4. Environmental standards must be assured for uranium exploration and mining, especially for the land, water and wildlife.

5. Uranium exploration and mining must have the support of Nunavummiut, with particular emphasis on communities close to uranium development.