Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 02/2/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
A local environmental group blasted the province Friday for considering a copper mine in Grass River Provincial Park.
But Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh said the new mine, to be established on a mine-exploration site, is a recognition of the value of the mining industry in the province and will be subject to a strict environmental review before any approval.
Eric Reder, Manitoba campaign director with the Wilderness Committee, said the mine appears to be already on its way to being approved despite the objections of about 25,000 people to industrial development in provincial parks.
"A park is protected, but in Manitoba it's not," Reder said. "It's another assault on our parks."
Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co. Limited wants to establish a 1,300-tonnes-per-day underground copper mine at Reed Lake. The site is about 91 kilometres east-southeast of Flin Flon and approximately 80 kilometres west-southwest of the Town of Snow Lake in the Grass River Provincial Park. All ore extracted from the mine site will be trucked to the Flin Flon metallurgical complex for processing.
A 50-person camp will be built at the site along with one 18,927-litre holding tank for the storage of sewage and grey water. The holding tank will be pumped out and trucked to a licensed disposal facility when required.
The deadline for public input on the project is Feb. 19.
Reder said the site is near a sensitive woodland caribou migration route.
"The park was supposed to be looking after caribou, but the project looks like the project is already done," Reder said. "The site is cleared. The infrastructure is built. Caribou want 50-year-old forest. There's no way we can remediate this."
Mackintosh said only a handful of Manitoba's 86 parks allow mining, and to further restrict mining companies, and the jobs they create, is not in the cards.
"The Grass River park is situated on top of what I understand is one of the most prolific mining belts in Canada," he said. "If mining was banned in parks, the mining association estimates there would be $26 billion in lost opportunities."
Mackintosh said a ban would also require the province to pay out millions of dollars in compensation to mining companies and eliminate a source of economic development in the north.
He also said the environmental review of the project, prior to Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting getting a licence under the Environment Act, will examine the mine's potential impact on the area.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2013 A7
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
More boats in the water, more chances of finding something: Nepinak on Drag the Red River
Knife-wielding driver subdued at scene of crash
Province giving $100K to help with Ebola
Manitoba sees net gain of MDs over 2013
Mayoral candidates offer no vision for city: Chamber of Commerce
Bones discovered on riverbank still have to be examined
Steeves would boost speed limit signage, takes aim at photo-radar
Collision in Brokenhead proves fatal
Fielding will be PC candidate for Kirkfield Park
Street closures in effect on Friday for CMHR opening
Expect lots of new faces on Winnipeg school boards
Streets near Forks closed Friday for CMHR opening ceremonies
Harbouring runaway stymies CFS
Rally to shed light on African Ebola epidemic
Extra blast of summer-like weather headed our way
Candidates offer food for thought
For some, hopes of running for mayor are dead
Searchers find bones near river
One journey ends, another begins
New, not necessarily exciting
Around City Hall
Honorary street-name designation for Shevchenko to last 200 years
Judy W-L vows to help spur ideas
Tearful witness describes boyfriend's brutal slaying
Code doesn't wash with city committee
Wyatt rejoins race, abandons federal bid
Suspect charged in 13-year-old case
A fond farewell to my buddy, Dale
Muskox makes rare appearance in Manitoba
Dressing-room issue may be examined here
Rally to urge more help in Ebola fight
Solemn ceremony commemorates soldiers' service in Afghanistan
Super pharmacists ease doctors' burden