Mining companies, northern communities renew uranium development partnership (Saskatoon StarPhoenex – June 22, 2016)

Seven northern communities have renewed their agreement with Cameco Corp. and Areva Resources Canada Inc. to support uranium mining operations in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin.

“The renewed partnership agreement gives the Athabasca communities certainty, to help ensure that the companies operate sustainably, bringing positive changes for the future generation,” Diane McDonald, lead negotiator for the communities, said in a statement.

The Ya’Thi Néné agreement, which means “Land of the North” in Dene, builds on a previous deal struck in 1999. It confirms the support of Black Lake, Fond du Lac, Hatchet Lake, Stony Rapids, Wollaston Lake, Uranium City and Camsell Portage for the Cigar Lake, McLean Lake and now-shuttered Rabbit Lake uranium operations.

The deal also commits the companies to continue hiring northern residents and support local business, community and environmental protection initiatives. Cameco is the country’s largest industrial employer of aboriginal people, while Areva has said more than 50 per cent of the workers at its McLean Lake mill are from northern communities.

“By working with industry, people living in the north have found ways to enhance the capacity and vitality of their communities while protecting their traditional values and lands,” Cameco president and CEO Tim Gitzel said in the statement.

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