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Wilderness group blasts province over proposed copper mine in park

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A local environmental group has condemned the province’s approval of a copper mine in Grass River Provincial Park.

Eric Reder, Manitoba campaign director with the Wilderness Committee, said Friday that despite objections from about 25,000 people to industrial development in provincial parks, the mine to be operated by Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company (Hudbay), is now in the final stages of getting approval from the government.

"I thought parks were the one place we could escape mining and find solace in undisturbed nature," Reder said. "This mine is a slap in the face of all Manitobans who, like me, value protecting wilderness."

Reder said although a full licence has not yet been granted, the province has quietly allowed Hudbay to establish an advance exploration project for this mine.

"As is often the case with the Manitoba government, the construction on site is so far along as to render the public consultations meaningless," he said in a release.

He also said the project is located near Reed Lake, a travel corridor for woodland caribou.

The province said the proposed mine is at the site of a former mine which was first opened before Grass River Provincial Park was created.

The company's application for an Environment Act License is out for public comment here.

History

Updated on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 2:38 PM CST: link fixed

4:59 PM: changes headline to remove inference province has approved the copper mine

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