Lithium Mine in Abitibi: a committee of citizens met Quebec remains

Mine de lithium en Abitibi: un comité citoyen met Québec en demeure

Photo: Petr David Josek Archives Associated Press
A sample of lithium

A resident of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue gave notice to the ministry of Environment of Quebec for that it directs the holding of consultations of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) regarding the proposed mining of Sayona Mining.

The resident in question, Rodrigue Turgeon, head of the citizens ‘ Committee for the protection of the esker, which calls for the last several months of consultations with BAPE on this project.

Invited to respond, the Environment minister, Benoît Charette, said that this still did not change anything in its plans. “The rules and the law are clear on this point. It has until march 20 to indicate our intentions, ” he said.

Mr. Turgeon said in a news release that it had filed its formal notice in response to remarks made last week by the minister of Economy, Pierre Fitzgibbon. “We’re not going to avoid the rules. It should be observed. […] We will try to see if you can go without BAPE […] in a context where it can be done, ” he said.

The company Sayona Mining wants to dig a lithium mine to open sky of 200 metres of depth over a length of one kilometre. The project raises concerns, because the site is located within 50 metres of a section of the esker St-Mathieu Berry, a geological formation that produces a source of very pure water.

During the election campaign, the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), as do the other parties — had committed to request consultations with the BUREAU on this project. However, after the election, the government said it would take more time to think about it.

The climate of suspicion towards the mining is all the greater in that it has presented a project of production of 1900 tonnes per day, just below the threshold of 2,000 tonnes from which a review of the BAPE is mandatory.

Mr. Turgeon supports precisely his notice on the legal notice of the lawyer in environmental law Marc Bishai, according to which the project exceeds the regulatory limit of 2000 tonnes per day and shall be subject to the BAPE.

THE COURIER OF THE HILL

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