Collective of 31 Quebec Mining Professionals

March 19, 2010 11:16 ET

Uranium and the Manipulation of Public Opinion

QUÉBEC, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - March 19, 2010) - The thirty one (31) Quebec mining industry executives who have signed this open letter, including ten (10) presidents and past presidents of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association (AEMQ) and the Quebec Mining Association (QMA), hereby reiterate their position regarding attempts to manipulate public opinion against the mining industry and the uranium industry in particular.

The signatories wish to draw the attention of Quebeckers, elected provincial, regional and municipal officials and the Quebec government to the following points:

  1. The professional geologists and engineers in the mining industry are citizens subject to the codes of ethics of the professional orders to which they belong. They are speaking here as professionals and citizens concerned with preserving the quality of a public debate by rejecting mere posturing for the media.
  1. For months, the town of Sept-Îles has been under the influence of a handful of activists loudly warning the public of "the imminent building of a uranium mine" at Lac Kachiwiss. This campaign culminated on December 3, 2009, with the dramatic announcement by a group of doctors who had "already decided to leave the area".(1) This embellishment of the facts, which characterizes an exploration project as "an imminent uranium mine", is pure manipulation. This manoeuvre must be vigorously condemned. It is intended to instill doubt and fear in the largest possible number of citizens of good faith, including doctors.
  1. In doing this, activists obscure the extremely stringent, restrictive and transparent process imposed by provincial and federal authorities on mining companies hoping to put a uranium deposit into production. The existing regulatory framework is aimed at controlling and minimizing any potentially negative impact on the health of workers, the local population, and the environment. All uranium mines currently in operation in Canada are certified under ISO 14001, the international quality standard for environmental management.(2) This information is carefully disregarded by the activists.
  1. Predictably, the local issue of the Kachiwiss project is used as a springboard to demand "a moratorium on uranium mining and exploration" in Quebec.(3) In an open letter(4) published on February 17, 2010, two Sept-Îles doctors, accountable to their professional order, feign ignorance of the repeated notices from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), whose independence, diligence and authority cannot reasonably be called into question.(5)(6) In this context, the open letter from the two doctors comes across as a militant and biased statement. The concern for the principles of "precaution" and "prevention" that they are demanding is at the very core of the CNSC's mission and actions. In the document published jointly on February 10, 2010, the AEMQ and the QMA demonstrate, point by point, that the activists' arguments for a moratorium are unfounded.(7)
  1. Finally, the Kachiwiss affair and the demand for a moratorium mask the real environmental and health issues for Quebec society:
  • Oil and coal are the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs). Developed countries with the lowest GGEs are those with the highest share of nuclear energy. This has led well-known environmentalists like James Lovelock, one of the founders of modern environmentalism and inventor of the Gaïa theory, and Patrick Moore and Stephen Tindale, former Greenpeace leaders, to modify their stance and come out in favour of nuclear power.(8)(9)
  • The International Energy Agency (IEA) argues in favour of reducing the energy industry's carbon footprint, including the development of nuclear power, requiring an investment of nearly US $10,500 billion over 20 years.(10) The Copenhagen Summit also recently underscored the urgency of developing scenarios to counter global warming, making specific reference to nuclear power. 
  • Nuclear power is currently the main alternative energy source to carbon-based power. To reduce energy dependency and polluting emissions, US President Obama recently pledged $8 billion in loan guarantees to build new nuclear reactors.(11) This budget could rise to $54 billion in 2011. A number of other large countries, including China, have expressed similar intentions. 
  • Furthermore, the global shortage of radioactive isotopes(12), which are made by nuclear plants, is a reminder of the essential role played by radioactive markers in cancer detection (70,000 tests per day worldwide).

Quebec must remain an open, innovative society, capable of making good use of its natural resources. These natural resources should be developed in accordance with the law, with scrupulous respect for the interests of its citizens and the environment. Quebec's expertise in exploration, mining, engineering and environmental management is recognized worldwide; it creates value and contributes to the quality of life for all Quebeckers. In light of this, it is essential to distinguish between the facts and propaganda.

References:

  1. Letter of resignation from Sept-Îles doctors, December 3, 2009, www.sisur.ca
  1. International Organization for Standardization. ISO 14000 Essentials, www.iso.org
  1. "Mieux vaut prévenir que guérir. Un moratoire sur les mines d'uranium est urgent et nécessaire". Open Letter, Dr. Isabelle Gingras and Dr. Bruno Imbault, Sept-Îles, February 17, 2010.
  1. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Uranium Mining: The Facts on a Well-Regulated Industry, December 15, 2009.
  1. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). Uranium Exploration, Mining and Milling: Setting the Record Straight, December 22, 2009.
  1. The Pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine! Coalition: "Demandons un moratoire sur l'exploration et l'exploitation de l'uranium au Québec", Sept-Îles, May 2009.
  1. AEMQ and QMA. "Analyse du document « Demandons un moratoire sur l'exploration et l'exploitation de l'uranium au Québec », divulgué en mai 2009 par la Coalition Pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine!", February 10, 2010, www.aemq.org and www.amq-inc.com
  1. Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy (EFN), www.ecolo.org
  1. "Revirement pro-nucléaire de grands écologistes", Jean-Pierre Bommer, Le Temps, 13 mai 2009.
  1.  "Pour l'AIE, le statu quo énergétique met la planète sur « une trajectoire dangereuse »". Le Monde, November 10, 2009.
  1.  "Le monde entier s'inquiète de l'arrêt de la production de certains marqueurs radioactifs des cancers", Le Figaro, February 16, 2010.
  1.  "Obama relance le nucléaire", Économie, Radio-Canada.ca, February 17, 2010.

Paul Archer, Engineer, M.Sc., Vice-president Exploration, Virginia Mines Inc., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 1997-1998

Pierre Bérubé, Engineer, President, Abitibi Géophysiques inc., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 2002-2004

Guy Bourassa, Lawyer, President and CEO, Nemaska Exploration Inc.

Serge Bureau, Engineer, M.Sc., President and CEO, MDN Inc.

Robert Bryce, Engineer, Former President of the Quebec Mining Association.

Peter J. Cashin, Geologist, M.Sc., President and CEO, Quest Uranium Corporation

Philippe Cloutier, Geologist, President and CEO, Cartier Resources Inc.

Jean Descarreaux, Geologist, Ph.D., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 1977-1978

Dominique Doucet, Engineer, President, CEO and Director, Sirios Resources Inc.

René Dufour, Engineer, Former President of the Canadian Institute of Mining.

Nicolas Fehrenbach, MBA, President and executive director, AREVA Quebec Inc.

Antoine Fournier, Geologist, M.Sc., President and CEO, Threegold Resources Inc.

Marco Gagnon, Geologist, M.Sc., President and CEO, Adventure Gold Inc., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 2006-2008

André Gaumond, Engineer, M.Sc., President and CEO, Virginia Mines Inc., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 1996-1997

Marie-Josée Girard, Geologist, M.Sc., President and CEO, Dios Exploration Inc.

Yves Harvey, Engineer, Ph.D., Outgoing President of the Quebec Mining Association.

Guy Hébert, B.Sc., MBA, President and CEO, Strateco Resources Inc.

Youcef Larbi, Geologist, Ph.D., Chief Geologist and CEO, Cree Mineral Exploration Board.

Michel Leclerc, Engineer, President of the Quebec Mining Association.

Jean-Marc Lulin, Geologist, Ph.D., President and CEO, Azimut Exploration Inc.

Glenn J. Mullan, Geologist, President and Chairman, Golden Valley Mines Ltd.

François Perron, B.Sc., M.B.A., President and CEO, Golden Goose Resources Inc.

Ghislain Poirier, Engineer, Vice-president Public Affairs, Stornoway Diamonds Corporation, President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association.

Gérald Riverin, Geologist, Ph.D., President and CEO, Cogitore Resources Inc., Former President of the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association, 2004-2006

Gino Roger, Engineer, President and CEO, Midland Exploration Inc.

Sean Roosen, President and CEO, Osisko Mining Corporation.

Yves Rougerie, Geologist, B.Sc., President and CEO, Abitex Resources Inc.

Gregg Sedun, LLB, Chairman and CEO, Uracan Resources Ltd.

Claude St-Jacques, President and CEO, Société d'Exploration Minière Vior inc.

Jack Stoch, Geologist, B.Sc., President and CEO, Globex mining enterprises Inc.

MacKenzie Watson, Engineer, President and CEO, Freewest Resources Canada Inc.

Contact Information

  • Guy Hebert : 450-641-0775
    Jean-Marc Lulin : 450-646-3015
    Ghislain Poirier : 418-780-3938