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James Bay lithium mine venture raises fears of water contamination

Eau Secours and the Regroupement Vigilance Mines de l’Abitibi et du Témiscamingue (REVIMAT) are involved concerning the approval of the James Bay lithium mine venture by the federal authorities.

The 2 organizations are involved concerning the contamination of water by arsenic that dangers producing the mine, which plans to extract 5,480 tonnes of ore per day for 15 to twenty years.

The Influence Evaluation Company of Canada gave the inexperienced gentle on Monday to Galaxy Lithium’s venture to construct a mine on the standard territory of the Crees of Eastmain, alongside the James Bay street, 1,100 kilometers north of north of Montreal.

Eau Secours and REVIMAT level out that in response to the proponent’s environmental impression research, it’s anticipated that the pit left by Galaxy Lithium will regularly fill with water that shall be loaded with arsenic, after the lifetime of the mine. .

The 2 organizations worry for the waterways within the Akwakwatipusich Lake watershed, as Galaxy Lithium’s restoration plan “doesn’t embody any concrete measures to revive water high quality to its unique stage” .

“The proponent depends as a substitute on hypotheses regarding the water stability” and “dilution components which aren’t demonstrated in any in-depth modelling” in response to Eau Secours.

The environmental physique argues that in response to proponent estimates, 60 years after mine operations ceased, arsenic concentrations may attain ranges roughly twice the prescribed commonplace (0.1 mg/L) by the Steel and Diamond Mining Effluent Rules (MDREM), and “roughly 40 instances larger than the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Atmosphere (CCME) tips for the safety of aquatic life in freshwater (0.005 mg/L). »

Eau Secours and the Regroupement Vigilance Mines de l’Abitibi et du Témiscamingue keep that “the analysis committee did little to handle these considerations”.

Compensation deemed inadequate

Eau Secours additionally fears that the “305 hectares of wetlands that shall be destroyed by the venture” shall be inadequately compensated. “.

A compensation plan for the lack of wetlands is deliberate by the proponent and the Influence Company of Canada factors out that it “ought to adjust to the necessities of the Ministry of the Atmosphere, the Battle towards Local weather Change, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) and could be developed in shut collaboration with the MELCCFP, the Cree Nation Authorities and the Cree Nation of Eastmain, a few of whose members have expressed concern concerning the results of the venture on wetlands”.

In accordance with the director basic of Eau Secours, “such a damaging venture, contenting itself with the minimal to fulfill the requirements, doesn’t meet the factors of the inexperienced transition”, referring to the usage of lithium within the manufacture of automobiles. electrical.

“With 305 hectares of pure habitats destroyed and a pit that may fill with arsenic-contaminated water over 120 years after which movement into close by rivers, these are examples of the value to pay for a so-called inexperienced transition,” mentioned Rebecca Petrin.

Species at Threat

In accordance with the Influence Evaluation Company of Canada, no less than 4 wildlife species in danger belonging to mammals have been noticed or are prone to frequent the territory: woodland caribou, little brown myotis, northern myotis and the wolverine.

However the evaluation panel concluded that “the venture, mixed with previous, current and fairly foreseeable initiatives, is just not prone to trigger important hostile cumulative environmental results on fish and their habitat, wetlands, birds migratory and at-risk species, woodland caribou and bats in danger”.

When releasing the Influence Evaluation Company of Canada’s resolution on Monday, Atmosphere Minister Steven Guilbeault mentioned it was “a very good venture.”

“Essential minerals are one of many keys to constructing Canada’s low-carbon financial system and guaranteeing financial prosperity for years to come back. We will solely exploit these assets by designing them from the outset with robust mitigation measures to guard the surroundings and by working in true partnership with Indigenous peoples. Our future is dependent upon sustainable initiatives like this,” the minister mentioned.

After Nemaska ​​Lithium’s Whabouchi mine and Essential Parts Company’s Rose lithium – tantalum venture, the James Bay lithium mine is the third lithium mine to obtain federal authorities approval within the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James area.

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