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Summer 2022 update on the Rook I Project

NexGen Energy Ltd. (NexGen) is proposing to develop an underground uranium mine – the Rook I Project – located on the Patterson Lake peninsula in the southwestern Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan. The proposed project is approximately 155 kilometres north of the town of La Loche, Saskatchewan, within the traditional Treaty 8 territory, the Homeland of the Métis, and is within the traditional territories of the Dene, Cree, and Métis peoples.

Where we are now

In 2019, NexGen submitted a project description to provide a general overview of the proposed Rook I Project. From May 2 to June 1, 2019, CNSC staff sought comments from the public and Indigenous Nations and communities on the project description and posted CNSC staff’s responses to the comments received on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry. NexGen also submitted an initial licence application to prepare and construct the site, in which they provided a schedule for the submission of licensing documentation to CNSC staff. NexGen indicated their intent to conduct the environmental assessment (EA) and licensing process in parallel.

In February 2020, following the comment period on the project description, the Commission issued a record of decision for the proposed Rook I Project, stating that the EA will include the factors mandated within the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012 but no additional factors.

In May 2020, in anticipation of the submission of the draft environmental impact statement (EIS), the CNSC offered participant funding to assist Indigenous Nations and communities and members of the public in reviewing and commenting on the draft EIS. NexGen submitted a draft EIS for the proposed project in June 2022. CNSC staff performed a conformity review of the draft EIS and found the submission has the required information for the technical review to proceed. A 90-day technical assessment and public comment period began on July 14, 2022.

Next steps

The draft EIS and technical supporting documents are available for public comment on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry’s Rook I Project page (reference number 80171) until October 12, 2022. Concurrently, the federal and Indigenous review team (FIRT) are performing a technical review of the draft EIS. During the technical review, the FIRT will draft information requests, to which NexGen is required to respond. NexGen’s responses may be reviewed several times to ensure the responses meet requirements. Once the draft EIS meets regulatory requirements, CNSC staff will proceed with developing an EA report.

NexGen has also been submitting licensing documents since 2019, which have been undergoing CNSC staff review. NexGen must meet CNSC licensing requirements as found in the Uranium Mines and Mills Regulations, among other requirements, before CNSC staff may proceed to develop a Commission member document on licensing and EA matters. The Commission is the decision-making authority for both EA and licensing matters. Before making a decision on NexGen’s project, the Commission will hold a public hearing where members of the public and Indigenous Nations and communities can intervene.

Outreach and call to action

Members of the public and Indigenous Nations and communities are invited to share their views by providing comments on the draft EIS and technical supporting documents. These documents are available for public comment from July 14, 2022 to October 12, 2022, on the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry’s Rook I Project page (reference number 80171). Written comments can be submitted to the Rook I mailbox:

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