QUEBEC – The government of Quebec announced a decision not to issue exploration, development or mining permits for uranium projects within its borders. The decision will remain in effect until an independent study on the environmental impact and social acceptance of mining uranium has been completed.
That leaves Strateco Resources of Montreal out on a limb. It has spent $120 million at its Matoush project 260 km northeast of Chibougamau in the Otish Mountains. The project underwent a four-year review and was granted approval from the provincial and federal review committees, the federal Minister of the Environment, and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
"In addition to overlooking the recommendations of his own review committee, the [Quebec environment] minister has also completely ignored the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission's expert opinion. These internationally recognized experts have all concluded, without exception, that our project is safe," said Guy Hebert, Strateco president and CEO.
"Without prior notice and for no good reason, neither rational nor scientific, the government has changed the rules. The minister's attitude is both irresponsible and unprecedented," he concluded.
The Matoush project is considered one of the highest grade uranium projects in the world, according to Strateco. As of the end of 2012, the property had an indicated resource of 586,000 tonnes grading 0.954% U3O8, and an inferred resources of 1.7 million tonnes at 0.442% U3O8.
The 2010 scoping study of the Matoush project is available at StratecoInc.com.