Northern Saskatchewan has the largest high-grade uranium deposits in the world. This region is the source of almost a quarter of the world's uranium supply for electrical generation.
Provincial and federal agencies establish the rules and regulate the performance of uranium mines. In addition, uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan is monitored by the Northern Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Committee (NSEQC). The committee was established by the province in 1995, after a Joint Federal-Provincial Panel recommended local residents have more input into decisions about uranium mines.
Over the years, the NSEQC has become an informed and trusted voice. The committee enables northerners to:
- learn more about uranium mining activities;
- see first-hand the environmental and public protection measures being employed by mines;
- provide northern perspectives on developments; and
- hear about the socio-economic benefits being gained.
The committee acts as a bridge between northerners, government and the uranium mining industry. NSEQC does not have regulatory responsibilities. It is structured to provide a forum that ensures consideration of northerners’ interests and recommendations about how uranium development occurs in northern Saskatchewan.
NSEQC provides early feedback to industry and input into both provincial and federal regulators’ decisions concerning uranium mining in our province. It also provides a community voice in other development initiatives where northern engagement is desired.
To learn more about their work, please read this fact sheet about their mandate, vision, mission and authority or their latest NSEQC Annual Report to Communities.
The NSEQC has representatives from a majority of the northern municipal and First Nation communities located in the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District, as shown on this map.
Two provincial government staff, based in the North, manage the NSEQC’s operations and make arrangements for committee members. They also help the committee develop written and verbal presentations for environmental assessments and licensing hearings.
In addition, the Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat (NMMS) provides technical and scientific assistance to the NSEQC while uranium companies and other natural resource developers offer in-kind assistance to the committee. This includes making scientific staff available, travel arrangements, site tours, workshops, and conferences.
Northern Mines Monitoring Secretariat
The NMMS is an inter-ministerial committee chaired by the Ministry of Government Relations. The Secretariat includes several provincial ministries that regulate and/or support the uranium industry. They manage a variety of programs pertaining to:
- the protection of the environment and workers
- water quality
- health monitoring
- rental of Crown land
- allocation of mineral resources
The NMMS also has representation from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the body that regulates the nuclear industry across Canada.