The Government of Nunavut has announced it is in favour of uranium mining on the condition the radioactive ore be used for peaceful and environmentally responsible purposes only.

Peter Taptuna, minister of Economic Development and Transportation, presented the official policy Wednesday in the legislative assembly.


Two local men work at the fuel storage site at the proposed Kiggavik uranium mine, near Baker Lake. The Government of Nunavut announced its official policy on uranium mining on Wednesday. (The Canadian Press)

"The Government of Nunavut recognizes that uranium exploration and mining places special responsibilities on government because of the nature of uranium and its by-products, the history of its use for both peaceful and non-peaceful purposes, and its potential risks to human health and the environment," he said.  

The government policy states that Nunavummiut must be the chief beneficiaries of uranium exploration and mining and that environmental standards must be assured.

It also states that uranium exploration and mining must have the support of Nunavummiut, especially those communities close to proposed development.

In 2010, the Nunavut government announced it would create a uranium policy. Consultations in Iqaluit, Baker Lake and Cambridge Bay followed.

The Government of Nunavut hired Golder Associates to attend the consultations and offer advice on the uranium issue. The consulting firm also does work for established uranium mining companies, including work for Areva Resources on the proposed Kiggavik project near Baker Lake.

That project is now before the Nunavut Impact Review Board.