Company has taken significant actions to manage nuisance dust
HAVELOCK, ON, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Unimin Canada has agreed to pay a fine and statutory surcharge totaling $406,250 to resolve a charge initiated by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in relation to nuisance dust from Unimin Canada's mining operations located near Havelock on six dates between March and July 2012.
Although Unimin had ongoing dust control measures in place at the time, the exceptionally dry and windy conditions during the period overwhelmed the company's previously effective systems. "While the drought conditions and strong winds during early 2012 generated dust from many sources, there is no question that some of the dust experienced by neighbours on Lake Kasshabog originated from Unimin," said Regional General Manager Carl Horvat. He added, "We have worked hard to be respectful of and maintain good relations with our neighbours on Lake Kasshabog, so this was a very unfortunate set of circumstances."
When it became apparent that additional dust control measures were required, Unimin moved quickly to strengthen the system's performance. Since early 2012, Unimin invested an additional $1.5 million in dust control, including water cannons, re-vegetation and the installation of rock armour. "We are pleased that since that spring and summer of 2012, our additional extensive dust management practices have proven to be effective in reducing dust from our operations," said Horvat.
Prior to the nuisance dust events of 2012, the company had a Dust Management Plan in place that included sprinklers and other surface irrigation systems, vegetation and fertilization of tailings areas, water trucks to wet down areas outside the main plant and the rapid deployment of mobile dust suppression capabilities where needed.
"Unimin understands the level of responsibility borne in operating in close proximity to a cottage community that has expanded during the many years we've been in operation, and we continue to strive to be a good neighbour," Horvat added.
"Given our track record of responsible environmental stewardship, the unusually dry and windy conditions and the $1.5 million we spent in upgrades since early 2012, we are disappointed that the MOECC chose to initiate the prosecution that led to this fine. However, we respect the government's responsibility to act and are pleased this matter is resolved," said Drew Bradley, Unimin's Senior Vice President of Operations.
To learn more about Unimin in Ontario and its dust control program, visit www.canadiannepheline.com.
Unimin mines and processes North America's premier deposit of nepheline, a highly valued industrial mineral, at its Blue Mountain and Nephton facilities near Havelock, ON. Unimin Corporation is one of North America's leading producers of non-metallic industrial minerals, including quartz, feldspar, nepheline syenite, calcium carbonate, clay, kaolin, lime and limestone. Its products are the essential raw materials of nearly every manufacturing process.
Unimin's sustainability program is certified by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). For more information about Unimin's sustainability program visit www.uniminsustainability.com.
SOURCE Unimin Canada Inc.
For further information: about this news release contact T.K. Kramasz, Unimin Corporation, at 507/386-2130.