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,

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