June 14, 2004

Amendment consolidates licences for Rio Algom mine tailings sites in the Elliot Lake area

OTTAWA, ONT-The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has amended Rio Algom's waste facility operating licence to include the uranium mine tailings sites associated with the former Quirke, Panel and Stanleigh mine sites. The amended licence is valid to December 31, 2005. Once the licence amendment comes into effect, Rio Algom's existing licences for these facilities will be revoked. The company applied for the licence amendment in order to bring the uranium mine tailings sites, currently covered by separate uranium mine decommissioning licences, under a consolidated licence. As a result, all eight of Rio Algom's uranium mine tailings sites in the Elliot Lake, Ontario area will be covered under a single waste facility operating licence. The licensing changes are administrative in nature and do not involve any physical works or changes to the existing facilities, the facility operations or the monitoring programs. Public hearings on the amendment application were held in February and April. The Commission concluded that Rio Algom is qualified to carry on the activity that the amended licence will authorize and will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons and the maintenance of national security. Full details on the application proceedings and resulting decision are available on the CNSC Web site, www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca, or from Sunni Locatelli of the Commission Secretariat, 613/995-0360.
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