Jeff Green | Nov 30, 2006
Feature Article - November 30, 2006
Back toHomeFeature Article - November 30, 2006
Uranium exploration company gets active
by Jeff Green
Frontenac Venture Corporation, a privately held mineral exploration company, has been busily staking claims in a 25 km by 5km swath of land adjacent to Road 509 in Central and North Frontenac.
In the former Palmerston Township alone, now part of North Frontenac, 36 claims have been staked by Frontenac Venture Corporation in 2006. They have also staked 14 claims in Olden and 5 claims in Oso District of Central Frontenac.
Many of these claims have been made in lots that are owned by the Crown, while others are on privately held land where the landowners own only the surface rights to their land, leaving the lands open to mineral exploration. The News has also learned that Frontenac Venture Corporation has approached at least two landowners in the vicinity of their claims who own their own subsurface rights, seeking a leasing agreement for mineral exploration.
All of these efforts are devoted to finding a mineral that is highly valued in these energy-starved times: uranium.
Gloria and Frank Morrison own a home on about 100 acres, off Road 509 opposite the Ragged Chutes Road.
Their land is split into three parcels, and the Morrisons own the subsurface rights for two of the three parcels. They do not own the subsurface rights to the middle parcel, however, a 60 acre piece. On September 30th a prospector aligned with Frontenac Ventures, entered that parcel and staked it, cutting some trees in the process. The claim was registered on October 12th.
Although the lawyer the Morrisons used to complete the purchase of their land, back in 1996, had made some allusion to mineral rights, they were unaware that a prospector is permitted to enter their land at will, cut down trees as required, and lay claim to it for mineral exploration purchases.
In the past six weeks Gloria Morrison has learned as much as she can about the mining act, Frontenac Venture Corporation, and uranium, and what she has learned she finds more than a little bit alarming.
“They [Frontenac Venture Corporation] are very confident about what they have. They feel this is the best uranium deposit in Canada”, Gloria Morrison told the News this week, “and when I went to the Tweed office of the Ministry of Mines and Northern Development, Pam Sangster, a geologist with the ministry, showed me some maps. Even I could recognise the yellow markings that showed a strong uranium deposit.”
Gloria and Frank Morrison have been participating in a managed forest program on their land and they hoped it would make them exempt from mining. They contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources, who manages the program, but were told, “’Oh, it’s mining, there’s nothing we can do,’” Gloria Morrison recalls.
The Morrisons have decided to do what they can to prevent their land from becoming a uranium mine. They will be disputing the Frontenac Venture Corporation’s mining claim on their land, and are hoping to engage a community of people to see what can be done to resist the push for mining development in the region.
“You cannot dig up uranium without releasing radiation into the environment. There are two creeks on our land that drain into the Mississippi River and we are on the K&P trail. The entire future of the Land o’ Lakes region would be completely altered by a uranium mine, maybe even just by digging trenches to look for uranium. This is not just our issue.”
(In January of 2002, the Frontenac News published a series of articles on surface and mining rights, with a focus on the experiences of land owners in Bedford district.) Two of these articles can be found at:
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