ROUYN-NORANDA, QUÉBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 2012) - The Quebec Mineral Exploration Association (AEMQ) is concerned that the Government of Quebec is creating uncertainty in Quebec's mining industry by considering a ban on uranium exploration, particularly with respect to Strateco's Matoush project. This project is located 260 km from Chibougamau and 210 km from Mistissini, in Northern Quebec's Monts Otish region.
The AEMQ questions the Government of Quebec's reasons for multiple delays and requesting a BAPE hearing to "study the entire uranium industry." Such an initiative would be pointless and cause major delays, as all activities related to the uranium industry in Canada are already strictly governed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). This organization regulates the use of nuclear materials and energy to preserve the health, safety and security of Canadians, to protect the environment and to ensure that Canada meets its international commitments with regard to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Between 2008 and 2012, Strateco conducted rigorous studies into the impact of the Matoush project, which have been independently monitored and verified. Following these studies, the authorizations required to continue exploratory work were obtained from the CNSC.
Mr. Jean-Marc Lulin, President of the Association, stated: "The CNSC, an independent industry control and regulatory organization, is an authority with an international reputation and world-renowned expertise. It holds authority over all uranium projects in Canada. The CNSC has clearly indicated that the Matoush project poses no risk to public health and that it complies with environmental regulations. Strateco has acted in accordance with the rules imposed by the Government of Quebec and with existing standards. The Government of Quebec cannot reverse its position without generating uncertainty throughout Quebec's mining industry and economic consequences for our operators."
The AEMQ feels that a potential ban would be unacceptable; this is a promising industry, which Quebec could develop following the example of Saskatchewan-a world leader for 50 years-and that would generate over one billion dollars in production value per year while respecting sustainable development principles.
The AEMQ supports any initiative based on a rigorous scientific approach that seeks to study the social and environmental aspects of the exploration and exploitation of our resources. At the same time, the State must, without exception, respect its commitments to companies that have made investments within a clear, stable, pre-established legal framework.
Ms. Valérie Fillion, General Manager of the AEMQ, added: "The Government's statements regarding uranium come on top of those made about hydrocarbons. They do nothing but postpone investment that we so dearly need. Instead, the Association invites the Government to put forward measures that favour the responsible development of our industrial activities and the creation of value-added jobs in our regions, for the benefit of all Quebecers."
About the Quebec Mineral Exploration Association (AEMQ)
The Québec Mineral Exploration Association (AEMQ) is a non-profit professional and industry association incorporated under Part III of the Companies Act. The AEMQ represents the key stakeholders involved in the field of mining exploration in Québec. The AEMQ was founded in 1975 to reflect the will of mineral explorationists in Québec (prospectors, geologists, geophysicists, contractors, developers, exploration managers) to stimulate exploration and foster the development of mining entrepreneurship in Québec. The AEMQ brings together more than 2,192 individual members (prospectors, geologists, geophysicists, brokers, tax experts, lawyers, etc.) and over 241 corporate members (junior and major mining exploration companies, engineering firms specializing in geology and geophysics, drilling companies, services companies, equipment manufacturers, etc.). It is headed by a board of twenty directors, each representing a different segment of the mineral exploration industry.
The AEMQ's head office is located at 132 Lac Avenue, Suite 203, Rouyn-Noranda, Québec, J9X 4N5. For more information, visit the AEMQ website at www.aemq.org