Preparing a Long-Lasting Environmental Impact Statement
What gets forecast in an environmental assessment (EA) for a new, or significantly modified, metallurgical processing facility or mine is taking on increasing importance during the subsequent life of the facility. The basic premise is that one is authorized to operate within the envelope defined by the approved EA. Operations inevitably change as they develop and mature, and at some point, one is faced with the prospect of re-doing the original EA work. This can lead to significant development delays.
Cameco Corporation has played a major role in developing the northern Saskatchewan uranium mining industry over the past decade. Through the EA process, the company has developed ideas on what works well in generating approvals which give the operator some future flexibility. Early introduction of concepts for potentially different mining and processing methods, as well as contingency plans if things do not work out exactly as predicted in the original EA can make regulatory approval for change a more efficient process. One can preserve the principles of open consultation upon which the EA process was originally based. The need for involvement and support from the northern communities to ensure the long-term success of the EA process is also discussed.
Environmetal, Uranium, Assessment