Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Public Hearings on the Uranium Industry

First Nations Ask for Moratorium on Rare Earth Mining and Exploration

Toyota ends partnership with Matamec Explorations Inc for the Kipawa Deposit

A Thinking Person's Nightmare McKibben’s Divestment Tour – Brought to You by Wall Street article by Cory Morningstar

"In Canada, the Algonquin people are fighting threats to land and water from an open-pit mining project for hybrid car batteries. Toyotsu Rare Earth Canada (TRECan), a Canadian subsidiary of Japan-based Toyota Tsusho Corporation, plans to build an open-pit Heavy Rare Earth Elements (HREE) mine directly next to Kipawa Lake, the geographical, ecological, and cultural centre of the Kipawa First Nation. Rare earths are a group of 17 elements found in the Earth’s crust. They are used to produce electronics for cell phones, wind turbines, and car batteries. Rare earths are notorious for their environmentally costly extraction process, with over 90 per cent of the mined raw materials classified as waste. [Source: Toyota Prius Not So Green After All]
Welcome to the “green economy”: classist, racist and utterly disgusting."

For the complete version visit:

APTN National News Visits Kipawa

APTN National News Visits Kipawa
Re: Rare Earth Mining

On June 6th Tom Fennario of APTN National News made the trip to Kipawa to discuss Rare Earth Mining and the Matamec project. He interviewed several members of the community as well as the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society. The 5 minute segment aired on September 2nd and can be viewed online

The Kipawa Lake Preservation Society is working hard to raise awareness and protect the Kipawa Watershed from mining but we need your help. Its important for those opposed to voice their concerns now while there is the opportunity to do so. Please take a moment and send this form letter the to the mayors of the MRC of Temiscaming urging them to reconsider their support for this project. The form letter is available from please be sure to include in the cc field so we have record of how many letters have been sent.

Funds are needed to cover administrative costs, awareness activities (recently the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society hosted a workshop at the Peoples Social Forum in Ottawa to raise awareness and gather support) and we hope to carryout some water quality testing in the watershed in the near future. You can support the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society financially by purchasing a T-Shirt online via We need to reach our goal of 50 t-shirts by Tuesday September 9th, 2014. Our website also has a pay pal donate button where donations can be made. For local residents we also have lawn signs available for $10, these signs can be purchased in person from a member of the Kipawa Lake Preservation Society. Please contact us for more info.

Thank you to all who have signed the petitions, sent letters, bought t-shirts and provided encouragement and support,

Christina Moreau
Chair, Kipawa Lake Preservation Society

Friday, June 13, 2014

Urgent Action Required!

The MRC Temiscaming is in favor of the Kipawa Rare Earths proposal by Matamec provided Matamec abides by government imposed rules and regulations. Norman Young (Mayor of Kipawa) and André Paquet (Mayor Fugèreville) and Claudine Laforge Clouâtre (Mayor of St-Édouard-de-Fabre) voted against the project and expressed their concerns relating to a lack of information on the health and environmental risks. All other 17 members voted for the project. The 17 votes for the project were the Mayors of Angliers, Bearn, Duhamel-Ouest, Guerin, Laforce, Latulipe-et-Gaboury, Laverlochere, Lorrainville, Moffet, Nedelec, Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Remigny, St-Bruno-de-Guigues, St-Eugene-de-Guigues, Belleterre, Temiscamingue and Ville-Marie. The vote and decision was made without information on the environmental impacts and social acceptability of the project.

To express your concerns over this decision and the Kipawa Rare Earths project please copy and paste the following email and send to the current mayors of the MRC. Please be sure to cc and your letters will be used to help show that this project is not socially accepted. Please provide your contact details as indicated in the letter. If you are a tax payer in the region, even seasonal, please be sure to use your local address so that the mayors are aware that you pay taxes to the MRC.

Subject: Kipawa Rare Earth Open Pit Mine proposal by Matamec Explorations Inc.


Attention Mayors of the MRC of Temiscaming
Norman Young, Mayor, Kipawa
Arnaud Warolin, Préfet, MRCT
Lyna Pine, Mairesse Angliers
Luc Lalonde, Maire, Béarn
Jean-Yves Parent, Maire, Duhamel-Ouest
André Pâquet, Maire, Fugèreville
Maurice Laverdière, Maire, Guérin
Isabelle Morin, Mairesse, Laforce
Michel Duval, Maire, Latulipe-et-Gaboury
Daniel Barrette, Maire, Laverlochère
Simon Gélinas, Maire, Lorrainvile
Éric Dubuque, Maire, Moffet
Carmen Rivard, Mairesse, Nédélec
Alain Flageol, Maire, Notre-Dame-du-Nord
Jocelyn Aylwin, Mairesse, Rémigny
Donald Alarie, Maire, St-Bruno-de-Guigues
Mario Drouin, Maire, Fabre
Édith Lafond, Mairesse, St-Eugène-de-Guigues
Yvon Gagnon, Président, Laniel
Bruno Boyer, Maire, Belleterre
Nicole Rochon, Mairesse, Témiscamingue
Bernard Flébus, Maire, Ville-Marie 

Re Kipawa Rare Earth Open Pit Mine proposal by Matamec Explorations Inc.

I am deeply concerned about the proposed Kipawa Rare Earths Project by Matamec Explorations Inc. a junior mining company. I have been informed that as of March 4th, 2013 the MRC and the majority of the mayors voted in favor of supporting this project given that the company follow all government rules and regulations particularly those that involve the protection of the environment.

I am concerned that this resolution was adopted without having the complete information and environmental studies outlining all the potential risks and without consideration of the social acceptance of the project.

I am sending this letter today to urge all mayors of the MRC Temiscaming to reconsider their position on this project.

Rare earth mining has never been carried out in a safe manner anywhere in the world. Our current laws do not protect against the dangers of rare earth mining as they were written prior to its existence. The Metal Mining and Effluent Regulations (MMER) limit only a few of the contaminants of concern.  This project would see the creation of an open pit mine on the shores of the upper Kipawa River. Located near important fish spawning grounds and upstream of the drinking water source for several communities. The project would require 190-210 meters cubed of freshwater per hour and would release effluent back into the Kipawa River. Processing of the ore would be carried out onsite using large volumes of strong acids and bases, mine tailings and waste rock would be left on site. Blasting would have negative effects on air quality and wildlife in the region. Rare earth ores are often found associated with radioactive substances such as Uranium and Thorium. The release of radioactive substances into the environment leads to an elevated risk of chronic health problems and cancer.

Matamec has not completed their studies but the preliminary impacts as outlined in their feasibility study include:
-          Effects on surface water quality and hydrology
-          Groundwater draw-down
-          Effects on soil quality
-          Effects on air quality
-          Noise and vibration from drilling, blasting, heavy machinery, etc.
-          Loss of vegetation and wetlands
-          Habitat loss and alteration (including fish spawning grounds)
-          Relocation of seasonal camps and cottages
-          Effects on recreational use of area (fishing, hunting, trapping, canoeing, etc.)
-          Disturbance of archaeological sites
-          Visual modifications of the landscape
-          Potential risks spillage of chemical products (hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and lime) during transport and use
-          Modifications to the biophysical and social environment
I do not support this project and it is not socially accepted. Those opposed to the project include season and permanent residents, tourists and business owners. We are concerned about the effects on water, air, soil, wildlife and human health. 

Tourism is a vital part of the local economy, tourism and mining do not mix. Kipawa Lake and surrounding areas is a beautiful, pristine and unique ecosystem. It should be protected for its intrinsic worth and not exploited for its resources. The economic benefits of this project if allowed to proceed will be many for the companies involved but few to the local residents and taxpayers who will be faced with the risk and the burden of managing the waste after the company has moved on. The promised jobs and tax revenues are not worth the risk. Please consider the voice of the opposed public and do not support the Kipawa Rare Earths Project or mining within this beautiful watershed.
Thank you,

Postal Code/Zip Code:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

T-shirt campaign

T-shirt campaign just launched! You can now show your support by ordering one of our custom Ts! Worldwide shipping available!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Important Information Session

APART is hosting an information session on the Kipawa Rare Earths project. Independent experts from Mining Watch Canada, Coalition Pour que le Québec ait Meilleure MINE, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility and others will be present. Information will be provided on the upcoming environmental assessments and how the public can participate. The information session will be held May 13, 2014 7pm at the Eagle Village First Nation Community Centre. Information will be provided in both French and English.

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

and sign up to receive newsletters with important updates delivered to your inbox via the facebook page or the website.

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.