NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned the two-year-old decision tat quashed the McClean Lake uranium mining and milling licence. The court made a unanimous decision earlier this month overturning the decision of the Trial Division to quash the original federal licence.
COGEMA RESOURCES, the project operator, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission argued persuasively for reinstatement. They were supported by submissions from the Government of Saskatchewan and from northern residents and businesses.
The McClean Lake operating licence was issued in 1999 by the Atomic Energy Control Board. It was immediately challenged by the Inter Church Uranium Committee Educational Co-operative (ICUCEC), an activist group opposed to uranium mining and nuclear energy. In September 2002, a Federal Court judge ruled in favour of the ICUCEC position and quashed the operating licence issued to McClean Lake. The actual performance of McClean Lake, which has consistently bettered regulatory requirements since it began operating five years ago, was not a factor in the case.
The McClean Lake uranium mine and mill is a joint venture of Cogema (70%), DENISON (22.5%) and OURD CANADA (7.5%). It is licensed to produce 8.0 million lb of uranium oxide annually. Additional details are available at www.cogema.ca.