Weeks of public hearings began Monday in Steinbach at Manitoba’s Clean Environment Commission, as a mining corporation tries to get the crucial approval for a large silica project near Vivian, Man.
SIO Silica Corporation says it desires to reap the benefits of the province’s large quartz deposit to mine a mineral crucial for on a regular basis items like batteries, cellphone glass and more.
Many area residents have expressed their concerns in regards to the proposal, despite assurances by the corporate that the mining process won’t be disruptive and that the project would create hundreds of jobs within the region.
Walter Mendela, who lives nearby, told 680 CJOB on the hearing that he has concerns about water quality, in addition to the potential effect the project would have on property values.
“If we invest $300,000-plus to construct a brand-new home here,” he said, “I don’t think, with no well, we might have any value to recuperate our cost.”
Those concerns are shared by Krista Boryskavich, who is an element of a bunch that represents residents of eight surrounding municipalities, and says there’s no indication of how the project might affect the region’s water supply.
“It’s critical, from the municipalities’ perspective, that the impacts of this project are examined … not only inside the first four- or five-year period, but inside the lifetime of the project,” she said.
The corporate’s COO, Brent Bullen, nonetheless, says the project would have a positive impact toward advancing Canada’s carbon-neutral goals, while leaving the environment largely unaffected.
“We don’t see in any respect a contamination event happening,” Bullen said.
“We don’t consider we contribute to a contamination event, and thru the work that we’ve done, we’ve not seen any indication of a contamination event.”
Bullen said SIO Silica uses a latest process that is simple on the ecosystem.
“There’s no scarring of the earth, there’s no surface mining, there’s no surface leaching,” he said.
“There’s nothing that’s related to conventional strip mining.”
The commission’s hearings, that are open to the general public, run until mid-March, with sessions planned for Steinbach in addition to Beausejour, Man.
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