Water, Air, Fauna and Flora
Strateco has been collecting data since 2007 for the baseline studies required to prepare an environmental impact study for the underground exploration program on the Matoush property.
The environmental impact study was carried out in accordance with the guidelines issued by the ministère du Développement durable de l’environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP, February 2009) in collaboration with federals agencies (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency), and clearly demonstrates the importance that Strateco assigns to the environmental and social issues surrounding its project.
The study was filed to the regulatory authorities In October 2009. The completion of this study is a major step forward for the Matoush project, particularly as the study concludes that the project will have a negligible impact on workers, the local population and the environment.
The environmental impact study describes first and foremost the physical environment and the biological components, as well as the social environment in which the underground exploration program will take place. The completed sectorial studies are:
- Geology & Geomorphology;
- Surface Water & Sediment Quality;
- Air and Climate;
- Natural Radiation
- Aquatic Environment (fishes, habitats, benthos);
- Terrestrial Environment (wildlife and birds);
- Soil Quality and Vegetation;
- Local Socio-Economic Conditions and Land Use.
The data collected in these studies will be used as reference for the environmental follow-up programs and allow us to verify the accuracy of the identified potential impact and evaluate the performance of the mitigation measures put in place.
The surveillance and monitoring programs are designed to take into consideration the potential environmental and social impacts identified in the impact study. These programs describe the environmental management system that Strateco will adopt in response to the legal requirements, as well as the Company’s Code of Ethics. The following environmental monitoring will take place during the underground exploration program:
- Final Effluent;
- Surface Water and Sediment Quality;
- Underground Water Quality;
- Air Quality;
- Gamma Radiation.
Following the filing of the environmental impact study, public information sessions were held in Mistissini and Chibougamau in May 2010 to present the study results to local residents and representatives of provincial and federal government agencies. After these meetings, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), the Federal Environment and Social Impact Review Panel-South (COFEX) and the Provincial Environmental and Social Impact Review Committee (COMEX) sent a series of questions asking for details or further information on certain aspects of the environmental impact study.
Strateco has sent its responses to the CNSC, the COFEX and the COMEX. This long process aimed to ensure that all aspects required for environment protection have been taken into account and that all standards are met. Public hearings were also held in Mistissini and Chibougamau, in November, 2010, to offer an opportunity for the public to express their opinions on the project and its impacts.
In February 2012, Strateco received the approval from the federal Minister of the Environment and the federal administrator of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement for the Matoush project underground exploration program, which is a first for a junior uranium exploration company in Canada. The minister stated that “the project, taken into account the mitigation measures described in the Comprehensive Study Report, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects”.
The Matoush exploration project is designed to minimize its impact on the biophysical and human environments and maximize its positive impacts. Strateco further plans and implements mitigation measures to prevent or reduce the significance of environmental impacts.
The study of social environment is part of the environmental impact study. Strateco has undertaken a consultation process since the outset of exploration on the Matoush property to remain aware of and responsive to the environmental and social concerns of local communities, and to keep them informed on the Matoush project’s development. Throughout this process, Strateco has aimed to establish a harmonious, durable relationship that will allow interested parties to exercise a real influence on decisions regarding the Matoush project.