As many of you know, Pancontinental Resources (PanCon) in conjunction with Hastings Resources, have been conducting an exploration feasibility study in the area bounded by Steenburg Lake Road North, Old Hastings Road, Highway 62 and Highway 620. Known as the McBride Project, this project is to determine the feasibility of mining for nickle and cobalt (raw materials for batteries). We need to remember that the area being proposed comprises the Philips Marsh which drains into Nicholson Creek, which drains into Dickey Lake. Dickey Lake drains into the Crowe Valley watershed which ultimately flows into the Trent River. As you can see, the impact of run-off and water usage by this project is far reaching.
Members of the SRI community met on Labour Weekend to determine our initial response to this project in preparation for PanCon’s information meeting which was held on September 9th at the Limerick Community Hall. We prepared an initial document of concerns and questions which was presented at the September 9thinformation meetingby Mr. Bill Rothwell, Past President of the SRI Board. You can find a copy of this document on our SRI Web-Site along with a press release from Mine Watch Canada.
The net result of the meeting and the presentations made by the many stakeholder’s present is that PanCon has decided to put the project on hold until an independent Environmental Assessment has been done by the Environmental Consultants PanCon has hired to review the project.This in no way means the project has been terminated! We need to remain vigilant and continue to work toward our ultimate goal of project termination. We urge all residents to watch our website for additional up-dates and pertinent links, the PanContinental web-site, and to please sign the MineWatch/LACC petition to terminate the project completely.
The SRI Board has decided to join a task force of Lake Associations and concerned citizens (separate from LACC) to lobby with a strong voice to all levels of government to stop the exploration project due to its environmental issues, economic issues and logistical constraints. The task force is made up of the following Lake Associations. Steenburg Lake Community Association (Steenburg Lake), Shawano Ratepayers Inc. (Dickey, Perch, Lost, and Lake of Islands Lakes), Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association (Limerick, Mephisto and St. Ola Lakes), Tri-Lakes Conservation Association (Robinson, Spring and Brinklow Lakes), Wollaston Lake Home and Cottage Association (Wollaston Lake), Thanet Lake Cottagers Association (Thanet Lake), and Crowe Lake Waterways Association (Crowe Lake).
The current status of the project based on Pancontinental Resources is as follows:
- The feasibility project is on hold and the initial project team is no longer involved. The exploration area has been cleaned up by the new Pancon Project Team.
- The government parameters regarding endangered and threatened species as well as water shed flow guidelines have been received by the Environmental Assessment Company from the government agencies involved; and the environmental assessment study will begin in the spring of 2019. It is anticipated assessment will take approximately 3 years to complete. A part of the assessment will be a social review, at which time stakeholders like the SRI will be involved.
- No future feasibility work will be conducted until the Environmental Assessment is completed and reviewed.
Please remember that Pancontinental is an exploration feasibility company and not a Mining Company. They are trying to determine economic feasibility only. However, that should not make us any less diligent.