Proposed Labrador uranium ban concerns companies

Proposed Labrador uranium ban concerns companies

Energy companies with eyes on Labrador are getting nervous after a proposed moratorium on uranium mining on Inuit land passed first reading recently.

On March 5, a bill calling for a three-year moratorium on mining on Inuit land passed first reading at a meeting of the Labrador Inuit self-government, the Nunatsiavut assembly.

Already the bill is causing nervousness among companies with eyes on the area.

More than $70 million was spent on exploration in Labrador in 2007, including the largest project involving a uranium deposit near the coastal community of Postville. Aurora Energy Resources is proposing a mine in the area by 2014.

Gerry O’Connell, spokesman for Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources, says if the bill passes, it will kill the mineral industry in the area.

“We don’t really know quite what all this means,” O’Connell told CBC News. “I supposed it’s good that the assembly is still considering the situation, but investors don’t like uncertainty. The longer this drags on, the more likely it is that investors might just take their money and go elsewhere.”

The bill will face a second reading at a Nunatsiavut meeting in April and will have to pass that before it will be become legislation.

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