A Toronto exploration company says regulatory delays in Nunavut could force them to cancel their summer drilling plans.
URU Metals wants to start a three-year search for gold and uranium just north of the Manitoba border at Nueltin Lake this summer. In April, the company submitted applications for a drilling program to the Federal government.
Roger Lemaitre, the CEO of URU Metals, said the plan was to set up at a nearby exploration camp operated by Prosperity Goldfields and use a helicopter to travel to Nueltin Lake by day.
He said he was surprised when regulators asked for detailed information about Prosperity Goldfields’ project.
"The Prosperity Goldfields camp where we'd be staying has already been permitted by both agencies," he said.
Lemaitre said his company won't likely get any permits until the end of the month — too late to start a work program at their remote site where they'll depend on float planes and ice-free lakes.
Ryan Barry with the Nunavut Impact Review Board said the board didn't see the application until June 11.
"I can understand their frustration at dealing with a very limited field season here," he said.
Barry said any multi-year program on sensitive caribou grounds is bound to raise concerns that need to be addressed.
URU Metals had planned to spend $750,000 to $850,000 on its project this year, and up to $2.5 million in the next three years.
Lemaitre said his board is now thinking hard about spending that money on a different project, in Sweden.