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Manitobans, mining company debate proposed silica project at public hearings – Winnipeg

Weeks of hearings began in Steinbach, Manitoba’s Clean Environment Commission, on Monday. That’s when a mining company seeks the necessary approvals for a large silica project near Vivian on the Isle of Man.

SIO Silica Corporation says it hopes to tap the state’s large quartz deposits to mine minerals that are essential for everyday items such as batteries and cell phone glass.

Despite the company’s assurances that the mining process will not be disruptive and that the project will create thousands of jobs in the area, many local residents have expressed concerns about the proposal.

Walter Mendela, who lives nearby, told 680 CJOB at the hearing that he had concerns about water quality and the potential impact of the project on property values.

“I don’t think even if you invested over $300,000 to build a brand new house here, without the well, it wouldn’t be worth the cost recovery,” he said.

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These concerns were also shared by Krista Boriskavic, a member of a group representing residents of eight surrounding municipalities, who said there was no indication of how the project would affect the region’s water supply. increase.

“From a local government perspective, it’s important to explore the impact of this project … not just within the first four or five years, but over the life of the project,” she said.

But the company’s COO, Brent Bullen, said the project would have a positive impact on advancing Canada’s carbon neutral goals, with little impact on the environment.

“We don’t believe there is a contamination event at all,” Bren said.

“We do not believe we are contributing to the Contamination Event. Through the work we have done, we have not seen any indication of a Contamination Event.”

Bullen said SIO Silica uses a new eco-friendly process.

“There is no earth scar, no surface mining, no surface leaching,” he said.

“There is nothing related to traditional strip mining.”

Commission hearings open to the public will continue until mid-March, with sessions planned at Steinbach and Beausejour, Man.

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