Strateco Resources has served Quebec's minister of sustainable development, environment, wildlife and parks Yves-Francois Blanchet with a notice for damages and interest set at an initial CAD16 million (US$15.6 million), which it says represents the loss in its market capitalisation since the announcement earlier this month that no permits for uranium exploration or mining would be issued in Quebec until an independent study into its environmental impact had been completed.
Further, the company's legal counsel has informed Blanchet that the company holds him "liable for damages caused by his misconduct up until this time" and has "given instructions" for the start of legal proceedings to obtain "compensatory and punitive damages."
The province of Quebec has at least 40,000 tonnes of indicated or inferred uranium deposits including Strateco's Matoush, with indicated resources of 5600 tU at 0.81% uranium and inferred resources of 6320 tU at 0.375%. In October 2012, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) granted Strateco a licence for advanced exploration activities at the project in northern Quebec, including the excavation of an exploration ramp and construction of surface facilities. However, various groups continued to push for a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in Quebec."