Local and national consultations sessions are being planned for amendments to the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations (MMER) in the near future. These would require alterations of our Fisheries Act, too, allowing for harmful substances (toxic mining waste) to be dumped into dammed freshwater lakes, thus turning them into Tailings Impoundment Areas - a euphemism for ruined, former life bearing lakes.
Here in Manitoba, Crowflight Minerals Inc. (see photo, below) has applied for a permit to dump their nickel mine waste into Bucko Lake, close to Wabowden, south of Thompson, a portion of the headwaters for the Grass River system, and in woodland caribou territory. Yikes. The application is in the Public Registry and Conservation is accepting comments even though the time period has passed. We asked for that.
It is a subsidy for the mining companies. It is cheaper to dam a lake and dump waste into it than to create a pit and pour water on it to keep the ore from oxidizing in the sun. The CEN has been asked to send delegates to a session planned on the topic of the latest proposal, for Terrane Metals Corp. to use King Richard and Alpine Creek in northern B.C. as a waste pit for their copper-gold project. I'm sure you can appreciate the chemical content in the residuals from that operation. Cyanide, for instance.
MiningWatch did a good job of intervening with the Voisey Bay project in Labrador/Newfoundland but they could use our voices to lend support to their efforts to take a lead on this issue and oppose the changes by the feds and to conduct a comprehensive study administered by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.
We would benefit from having position statements forwarded to us by your group. There's a chance I'll be going to the next session, held in Gatineau, to learn more about this and offer up some opinions to Environment Canada and mining companies. We don't have groups working specifically on mining issues in Manitoba, but we do have several groups interested in issues of water quality, pollution prevention, and caribou habitat. I would sincerely appreciate some solidarity in the challenging of this scheme to ruin more of our dwindling fresh water supplies and pristine habitats.
For further or background information, call EC project manager Kelly Ellis at 819 934-6056 or HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org. Or check out CEA's website.
Thanks, Lindy Clubb - assistant executive director, Mixedwood Forest Society 204 475-9608