The Quebec Government’s consultative panel on the environment endorses the valorization and the exploitation of serpentine mining residues

Quebec’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), the provincial government’s consultative body on environmental issues, recently published a report on the valorization and exploitation of the serpentine mining residues that can be found across its Appalachian region.

For the region’s industries, those residues represent an almost inexhaustible resource which constitutes an interesting, promising mining heritage. To that end, the region welcomes the fact that the BAPE, in its recently released report, recognizes the importance that must be given to the exploitation of the mining residues, in the double perspective of a sustainable economic development for the region and of the very future of its communities.

Moreover, the BAPE’s report underscored the high social acceptability of the forward-looking project. Representations made by economic stakeholders during the public hearings demonstrated their unwavering determination and firm intention to ensure that said exploitation be carried out while fully respecting the population’s health and the environment.

Lastly, the stakeholders came forward with an interesting proposal for the government authorities : they suggested that an observatory be created, staffed by a multidisciplinary team of experts, who would ensure that every process be developed efficiently and in accordance with all the proper rules, in a safe and secure manner and with the collaboration of all. The Quebec government must follow through with this request.

For this broad asbestos region, as it is known in Quebec, this project bears testimony to the fact that a true, sustainable development is completely feasible and that it can go hand in hand with an economic development that will benefit all. Throughout years of mining operations, the stakeholders clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that they did take their health and environmental responsibilities seriously. This is why the government should recognize and support their initiative, which will draw on their unique expertise in order to raise to the significant challenge of valorization.

International Chrysotile Association

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