Environmental Protection


The Saskatchewan uranium mining industry is committed to responsible environmental stewardship. The industry directly employs 71 people whose full-time responsibility is to ensure that all operations meet strict environmental standards set out by both the federal and provincial governments. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, comprehensive sampling, monitoring and assessment programs are in operation to ensure that the physical environment is protected. All sites are subject to compliance-based monitoring; water and air emissions from the mine and mills are tested on a regular basis to ensure that contaminants, if any, remain within regulatory limits. The industry also performs environmental monitoring to ensure that plants, animals and fish in the surrounding area are not adversely affected.

The industry's long-term goal is to return all operations, as closely as possible, to a natural state suitable for future uses. All uranium mine site operators must issue a letter of credit with the province of Saskatchewan to ensure adequate funds are available for proper decommissioning of each site after the reserves have been mined out.

The uranium mining companies are already working towards this long-term goal. In 2014, approximately $8 million was spent on reclamation.

ISO 14001 Certification

ISO 14001 is a voluntary international set of standards that is recognized in more than 90 countries for maintaining an effective environmental management system where a company can demonstrate its commitment to environmental performance, pollution prevention and continual improvement. It establishes a permanent framework to assist companies in reaching their environmental protection goals. The ISO framework calls for regular independent audits and for re-certification every three years.

FiveSaskatchewan uranium operations are currently ISO 14001 certified: McClean Lake (2001), Key Lake (2003), McArthur River (2003), and Cluff Lake (2004) and Rabbit Lake (2010). In addition, AREVA Resources' Saskatchewan uranium exploration activities were certified for ISO 14001 in 2004. This certification further demonstrates the commitment of Saskatchewan uranium mining companies in protecting the environment.

© 2017, Saskatchewan Mining Association