Final Asbestos Mine in Quebec Quits Plans to Reopen
An asbestos mining company in Quebec recently announced that it has abandoned plans to revive one of the last asbestos mines in the province.
The Lac d’Amiante du Canada mine (LAC) at Thetford Mines, Quebec, was closed down after a landslide caused mining operations there to be halted. Following the closure, the Committee to Re-launch the LAC Mine was formed to try to resume operations, according to RightOnCanada.ca.
About two months after the closure the company that operated the LAC mine, LAB Chrysotile Inc., declared bankruptcy. And now Simon Dupéré, the company’s president, has announced that plans to reopen the mine have been suspended indefinitely.
According to the news source the reason for this was because of recent decisions by the Canadian and Quebec governments that signified opposition to the resumption of asbestos mining in the country.
Jeffrey Mine has loan canceled
Earlier this month the president of the Jeffrey Mine in the town of Asbestos, Quebec, Bernard Coulombe, said that the $58 million loan from the government that would have revived the closed mine had been cancelled, reports the Montreal Gazette.
The prospect of the loan has been a major source of controversy in recent years, with health advocates decrying the fact that Canada was exporting asbestos around the world while restricting its use domestically.
Dangers of exporting asbestos
While the use of asbestos is highly dangerous everywhere, it can be especially harmful when used in developing nations – such as the ones that were buying Canadian asbestos – because there are fewer regulations governing its use.
Any amount of asbestos exposure can have deadly consequences as the inhalation of the deadly mineral fibers has been proven for decades to cause a range of serious illnesses such as asbestosis, lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that attacks the thin membrane that lines the body’s chest, lungs and abdomen.
These diseases claim the lives of 107,000 people each year around the world, according to World Health Organization figures.
New Quebec government deserves praise
Dupéré said that the Parti Québécois’ newly formed government made it clear that the asbestos industry would no longer be supported, according to RightOnCanada.ca. According to Dupéré, it would now be virtually impossible to attract the foreign investors needed to reopen the LAC mine.