Montreal, March 7, 2018 - After unsuccessful attempts to establish a constructive dialogue with the newly elected officials of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge ("GSLR"), and considering that the Councilors of GSLR disseminated intentionally misleading and erroneous statements to both the Commission de la protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ) and its residents with the objective of blocking the Project and totally and irreparably compromising the social acceptability of the Project, Canada Carbon felt it had no recourse but to file a lawsuit. “That was not our plan”, said Bruce Duncan, Chief Executive Officer of Canada Carbon. “We believe in a sound social acceptability process that can be obtained only by engaging in constructive dialogue with all stakeholders”, said Mr. Duncan. “Unfortunately, this process is being blocked by elected officials who have not responded to our requests (our letter dated December 15, 2017) to sit down and engage in constructive discussions. Social acceptability cannot be achieved if one party refuses to talk or intentionally sabotages the process”, added Mr. Duncan.
Canada Carbon had no other choice but to take immediate action because of the obligation imposed by Law to give a notice to the Municipality of the coming action, within 60 days, and to file the action within a 6 months period. Failure to do so would result in Canada Carbon losing its rights.
This is not a story of how a large mining company is forcing its way into a community that does not want it. This is instead a story about a small mining company proposing a small mining project with the most benign environmental impact it can achieve. It is important to note that the former Municipal Council of GSLR recommended twice to the Commission de la protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ), to grant Canada Carbon's application and to authorize a non-agricultural use for the exploitation of a graphite mine and a marble quarry (resolutions number 2016-12-319 and 2017-03-072) and that the designated municipal officer issued two certificates of compliance of the project with the municipal regulations in 2016 and 2017.
As a mining company, Canada Carbon has done everything that is required of it by law and is still working in that direction as the Miller Project still has a number of planning steps to complete before mining permits are issued.
Canada Carbon commissioned numerous studies, conducted by independent professionals, to provide accurate and substantiated facts to the community. These reports confirm that the Miller Project has very limited environmental impact. Unfortunately, these studies are being ignored by elected officials who make false statements on many issues without providing any reports or studies of their own to support their claims of adverse impacts on the environment. Our numerous requests for copies of documentation supporting their claims have gone unanswered.
Here are a few examples of false and inaccurate information being disseminated by Councilors:
- It is said that our project sits on a class I aquifier (highly protected as it provides potable water to a public well). This is completely false. Our hydrogeology study confirms that the Miller project sits on a class III aquifier (not linked to any public well). In fact, the test wells on the property yielded insufficient water for use by even a single residential dwelling. We sent three emails to the Mayor asking him to provide us with a study or a report that would prove what is being reported to residents. Again, the Mayor did not respond.
- Residents are told that the Miller project will have an impact on the quantity or quality of potable water on surrounding properties and that the Miller Project will be poisoning the wells. We have numerous reports, done by independent consultants, proving the contrary.
When the Mayor of Grenville, the neighboring municipality, had concerns about the impact of our project on the water supply in Grenville Village, he selected a hydrogeological consulting company to review our report and its findings. His selected consultant came to the same conclusion as our consultant which is that our project does not affect the public water well in Grenville Village. The previous GSLR Council commissioned a similar study which concluded that the municipal wells near Calumet would similarly be unaffected. Last week the Company released the final hydrogeology study for the Project which demonstrated that no residential wells on nearby properties could possibly be compromised by activities within the Project boundaries.
- Residents are being told that the surface area of the exploitation is more than 1 km2. The pits, as planned, will occupy an area of 0.12 km2.
“We want citizens of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge to have access to all the information that is currently publicly available on our project, information that is substantiated by reports and studies. These public reports are available on the Company’s website”, said Mr. Duncan. “This is the only way residents will be able to come to an informed opinion on our project."
Following community consultations in February 2017, the Company prioritized the completion of the hydrogeology report released last week, to assuage the concerns of residents relying on their own wells for drinking water. Resident's concerns about noise generated by the mine and quarry prompted the Company to thoroughly review mitigation strategies to ensure that our neighbors are not impacted, which was also reported last week. Canada Carbon has been transparent throughout this whole process and will continue to do so. All documents are and will be made public to serve this process of consultation and disclosure.
We sincerely hope that this issue can be resolved in a way in which all stakeholders can benefit.
About Canada Carbon and the Miller Project
Canada Carbon’s Miller Project is located on private land in Grenville-sur-la-Rouge. The Project consists of