Monday, April 14, 2014

Kipawa Lake Preservation Society

Recently, the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society launched their website, The purpose of the site is to inform the public of the current threats to the Kipawa watershed. The current focus is on mining and specifically the mining of rare earths and Kipawa Rare Earths Project proposed by a junior mining company, Matamec Explorations Inc. If allowed to proceed this project has the potential to forever change the area and the watershed. Information on potential risks and impacts presented on the website have been thoroughly researched and come from reputable sources such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) as well as Government of Canada reports. Matamec Explorations Inc. published a feasibility report in fall 2013 that identified many potential impacts including:
  • Effects on surface water quality and hydrology
  • Drawdown of groundwater
  • Soil Quality
  • Air Quality
  • Noise and Vibration
  • Loss of vegetation and wetlands
  • Habitat Loss and Alteration
  • Relocation of seasonal camps and cottages
  • Effects on recreational use of area (hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing)
  • Disturbance to archeological sites
  • Visual modification to the landscape
  • Traffic increases on the Maniwaki Road
  • Potential risk of chemical products being split during transport (from Ontario to Quebec)
  • Modifications to biophysical and social environment
The extraction and processing rare earths present a unique set of risks not present with other types of mining. While, Canada has more stringent environmental laws than China (currently the top rare earth producer), Canadian environmental laws were written prior to the existence of rare earth mining. Canadian environmental laws do not address many of the contaminants of concern or place restrictions upon their release into the environment. This project site is located in close proximity to the Kipawa watershed and upstream of important fish spawning habitat, drinking water sources as well as a world renowned tourist destination. This is no place for a toxic open pit rare earth mine. While those in favor of the project argue that rare earths are vital for technology such as smart phones, lap tops, MRIs and cancer treatments it is important to note that the intended use of the majority of the rare earth ores extracted from this project are for the production of hybrid and electric vehicles. These vehicles labelled as ‘green technology’ can hardly be called so when the environmental destruction that occurs during the process of obtaining rare earths is taken into account. The technology already exists to produce hybrid and electric vehicles without the use of rare earth ores and many companies are even making use of recycling rare earth ores discarded from smart phones and other hand held electronic devices in producing their vehicles.

It is alarming that this project is receiving support from local and provincial government bodies prior to the completion of environmental impact assessments and without consideration of social acceptability. In 2012, 17 out of 20 mayors of the local municipalities voted in favor of the proposed project. Recently, Matamec announced the financial contribution of 4 million dollars by Ressources Quebec into the project.

For more information please visit or contact 
Kipawa Lake Preservation Society
P.O. Box 1
Temiscaming, Quebec
J0Z 3R0 

The mission of the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society is to preserve the Kipawa watershed as it is, environmentally healthy and unpolluted, through constant dialogue, education and protective initiatives that involve the local population, general public, government officials and corporations directly or indirectly related to the Kipawa watershed.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Kipawa Lake Preservation Society launches website!

Last week the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society launched its website,
The purpose of the website is to educate and inform the public about threats to the Kipawa watershed.The current focus is on mining and specifically the mining of rare earths. The site contains a great deal of thoroughly researched and factual information about mining and its threats. Please support the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society by visiting and sharing their website. 
view and share the you tube video

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What you can do to help Save Kipawa Lake

Sign the petitions!

(signatures worldwide excepted on the petition, no minimum age required)

Sign these official government petitions (citizens/residents of Canada only)

Green Party of Canada Petition (French) (English)

NDP (Christine Moore) Navigable Waterways Petition

Support the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society

The Kipawa Lake Preservation Society is a volunteer led group of local and seasonal residents of Kipawa Lake and surrounding areas. Their goals are to lobby for the long term protection of Kipawa Lake and surrounding areas. They are concerned about the many threats to this watershed and the impacts they will have on the health of the ecosystem and nearby communities.

A website with more information about the proposed mining projects, exploration, and risks as well as more information on what the public can do to help (including letter writing campaigns, volunteer opportunities, and other initiatives) will be available shortly. In the meantime please support the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society by visiting and hitting the 'like' button.

Recent News Articles

The Green Party of Quebec does not support Rare Earth Mining

Environment Group APART launches studies into risks of air pollution for the Kipawa Rare Earth project

Toyoto Prius Not So Green After All

The search for transparency in a global gold rush for rare earths

What you need to know about rare earth metal mining

Opponent Fears for Lake

Temiscaming Residents Rally Against Mine

Peaceful protest in Kipawa against Matamec mining project

Kipawa Lake Preservation Society

The following statement was released by the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society:

The following translated quotes appeared in an article published on Friday January 24th by La Frontière (

«Les lois environnementales au Canada et au Québec interdisent de polluer les cours d’eau. On ne pourrait pas polluer le lac Kipawa. Nous allons bientôt déposer notre demande de permis pour la mine et nous avons l’intention de démontrer que notre projet est respectueux de l’environnement»  a indiqué Claude Brisson, de Matamec

" Environmental laws in Canada and Quebec prohibit the pollution of waterways. We could not pollute Lake Kipawa. We will soon submit our application for a permit to mine and we intend to demonstrate that our project is environmentally friendly " Claude Brisson, Director of Regional Relations, Matamec.

 «Les gens qui nous contestent le font avec des ordinateurs qui utilisent des terres rares. On ne peut pas se passer de ce produit. C’est mieux d’exploiter des mines de terres rares dans des juridictions où la législation environnementale est plus sévère, comme le Québec, que dans des pays où l’environnement est moins protégé» Claude Brisson, de Matamec
"People who challenge us do it with computers that use rare earths. We can not do without this product. It's better to mine rare earths in jurisdictions where environmental legislation is more severe, like Quebec, than in countries where the environment is less protected "  Claude Brisson, Director of Regional Relations, Matamec

It is the belief of the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society that in light of proposed rare earths projects, there is urgency for environmental groups and the public to work together NOW (more than ever) to oppose such activities. Kipawa Lake should be protected from development for its intrinsic worth and not exploited solely for the monetary value of its resources below the surface.

Though it is true that Federal and Provincial legislation exists to protect the environment, it is not unthinkable to assume that the unexpected CAN (and does) happen. Mitigation measures are created to plan for unforeseen negative effects on the environment, but not everything can be planned for. Any mining company technically “could” pollute because they have the “ability” to. Laws are broken and fines exist JUST for such reasons.   

Mr. Brisson, Director of Regional Relations for Matamec, has stated that the laws are such that their project could not pollute Lake Kipawa. Yet from the Feasibility study published by Matamec on October 17, 2013 it would appear otherwise. Please see attached pages 296-299 of that document that outlines effects on surface water quality and hydrology, impacts on fish and waterfowl, risks of accidental spills, groundwater draw down and impacts on groundwater, effects on soil quality, air quality, changes in noise and vibration, loss of vegetation and wetlands, habitat loss or alteration, modification of lands and resource use, visual modifications of the landscape, potential disturbance to archeological sites. The full document can be accessed online

It is important to note that the intended use of the ore from the Kipawa Rare Earths project is not for computers or electronic devices, but for hybrid and electric vehicle production.  
Alex Tyrell of the Green Party of Quebec issued a statement this past Friday as well, «Les voitures électriques n’émettent peut-être pas de CO2 lorsqu’elles roulent, mais elles ne sont pas vertes pour autant. Les mines de terres rares sont très polluantes et on ne peut pas accepter qu’elles soient situées près des cours d’eau comme le lac Kipawa», a soutenu M. Tyrrell.

Mr. Tyrrell stated “Electric cars may be don’t release carbon dioxide when they are on the road but they are not ‘green’. Rare earth mines are a source of a great deal of pollution and we can not except that they be situated near a body of water like Kipawa Lake.”

We agree with Mr. Tyrrell, and it is our belief that regardless of the intended use of the ore or the regulations in place, rare earth mining has never been carried out in a safe manner. The Metal Mining and Effluent Regulations as referred to in Matamec’s feasibility study were not written with rare earth mining in mind. They limit the release of  some but not all of the contaminants of concern associated with rare earth mines. Even if all safety precautions are implemented there is always a risk that an accident could occur. No mining company can make guarantees that their projects will not impact nearby waterways or the environment. We should not be prepared to risk our beautiful waterways, our health and the air we breathe for the sake of alternative “green” products which are proving to be not so green. We are merely trading one environmental problem for another. There are currently no recycling programs for rare earth ores and at the end of the lifespan of electronic devices these ores end up in landfills. We need to find better solutions to these problems that do not put our health and ecosystems at risk. The technology already exists for electric cars that do not use rare earths for more information please visit

The mission of the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society is to preserve the Kipawa watershed as it is, environmentally healthy and unpolluted, through constant dialogue, education and protective initiatives that involve the local population, general public, government officials and corporations directly or indirectly related to the Kipawa watershed. Stay tuned for more information and the launch of

For questions, concerns or more information please contact

New Mining Laws

New mining laws for the province of Quebec were adapted in December 2013. We have received conflicting information as to if the proposed Matamec project will now have to undergo an environmental impact assessment at the provincial level (BAPE). Along with the changes the Minister's right to refuse a project was waived. This change puts more decision power in the hands of the local municipalities. More details will follow once available.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Online Petition and Thunderclap

In an effort to attain more signatures on the online petition a thunderclap was started. We need to have 100 supporters by Oct. 1st. If we can reach that our message with the link to the online petition will be posted simulataneously on the social media networks of those supporters. Please help us reach 100 supporters