A new uranium project in north west Saskatchewan has received approval to move forward.

NexGen’s Rook 1 project received Ministerial approval from the provincial government this past weekend under the Environmental Assessment Act of Saskatchewan.

It is the first time in more than 20 years approval has been handed out for a new uranium project in the province.

The project initially had opposition from the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan who said the project was moving forward without consultation from the Metis in the north west region.

However, NexGen and local Metis communities signed an Impact Benefit Agreement this past summer ensuring Metis rights were protected during the construction of the project.

In a release on Rook 1’s approval, MN-S president Glen McCallum says he is proud of the relationship between NexGen and the Metis in the region.

“The approval from the Province of Saskatchewan is a major milestone in this partnership, and we look forward to continuing to work together to ensure the success of the project and provide much-needed resources and economic opportunities to Northern Region 2 families and citizens,” said McCallum.

Leanard Montgrand, MN-S Northern Region 2 director would echo President McCallum’s sentiments.

“Since as early as 2013, NexGen has engaged and worked closely with the MN-S NR2 locals and citizens. We are proud to be working with NexGen and the regulatory authorities to set a new and elite standard for Indigenous engagement, participation, and partnerships for major projects in the traditional territory of our peoples. The approval from the Province of Saskatchewan is a major milestone for the MN-S NR2 and NexGen, and will have positive impacts on the long-term economic sustainability of our Nation,” said Montgrand.

Now that the provincial approval is place, NexGen says theu have submitted all responses for federal review and look forward to undertaking construction on the project as soon as they can.