The Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization voiced its concerns about the Kiggavik project's potential effects on caribou at the first of a series of public meetings this month to talk about the proposed uranium mine.
Areva Resources' Kiggavik project is a proposed uranium ore mining and milling operation located about 80 km west of Baker Lake, Nunavut.
The company recently submitted a massive draft environmental impact statement to the board. Ryan Barry, executive director of the Nunavut Impact Review Board, said this week's meetings should help determine what information Areva still needs to provide for an environmental assessment.
"We encourage people that at any point in the process they can supply us with their comments, their concerns, and their questions, and we'll do our best to ensure their questions are answered," he said.
Public review meeting schedule
May 22, 23: Baker Lake
May 24: Arviat
May 25: Whale Cove
May 26: Rankin Inlet
May 28: Chesterfield Inlet
May 29: Coral Harbour
May 30: Repulse Bay
Joan Scottie of the Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers Organization said it has been a challenge to read and translate the English document for elders.
Some Baker Lake hunters say the statement is still missing information.
"Concerns were mostly about how the exploration and the mining will have an impact on the caribou, that the caribou might be disturbed enough to not come around close to the community anymore," she said.
The public information sessions continue Thursday night with a meeting scheduled in Arviat. More sessions will be held in Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet, Coral Harbour and Repulse Bay in the coming days.
If the project ultimately goes ahead, Areva plans to open a uranium mine at the site by 2017.