POLITICS

Mining firm seeks $190 million from Quebec for blocking uranium project

12/11/2014 01:12 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST
BOUCHERVILLE, Que. - A Quebec mining company is seeking about $190 million in compensation for the investments it made in a uranium project before the province blocked it last year from moving to the next stage.

Strateco Resources Inc. of Boucherville, Que., (TSX:RSC) said Thursday the provincial government refused the authorization due to a "lack of social acceptability" — a term that it said isn't been defined under Quebec law.

In its lawsuit filed in Quebec Superior Court, the company said it is seeking damages from the provincial government and environment minister.

Strateco alleged the province is liable because it abruptly changed course after former premiers Pauline Marois and Jean Charest encouraged investments in the uranium sector.

The company said it invested an average of $20 million per year from 2006 to 2012 and received about 30 permits from the government under the provincial mining acts.

However, Strateco said a moratorium on uranium exploration and mining in March 2013 and the government's refusal to authorize advanced exploration of the Matoush project has hurt the company.

As a result of the moratorium, the company said it has been forced to shut down its Matoush camp and it has lost "any real possibility" to take advantage of the work it has already done on the project.