Owner of the Horne 5 project, Falco Resources filed a brief as part of the consultations of the Ministry of the Environment concerning the Horne smelter.
Horne 5 is an underground mine project located below the Horne Smelter site, directly below the former Horne copper mine. The mine would cost over $1 billion and could create about 500 jobs.
The company specifies that it is a stakeholder in the air quality file, since the project is located nearby, that its copper concentrate must be treated at the Horne Smelter, but also by the presence of contaminants in the air.
Falco Resources refers to section 197 of the Clean Air Regulation (RAA), which prohibits a project from being authorized if it is likely to add contaminants to the air that are already present in concentration higher than the standards in force.
However, arsenic and other metals (barium, copper, nickel and lead) are present in the ambient air of Rouyn-Noranda beyond the concentration allowed by the standards in force.indicates the company, which affirms that the ministry is currently postponing the analysis of its project, in particular for this reason.
Falco Resources specifies that according to its most recent models, its impact on air quality would be negligible. The company even believes that its filtration system would improve air quality in Rouyn-Noranda.
In the case of arsenic, the modeled contribution of the Horne 5 project is 50 g/year, while the filtration equipment would capture 450 g/year, resulting in an overall reduction in contaminants in the ambient air.argues the company, which claims to have hired toxicology experts who confirm that the impact of the mine on health would be negligible in the medium and long term.
Falco offers different solutions
Falco Resources states in its brief that
the presence of contaminants in the air beyond the standards in force limits the economic diversity of the region and slows down the progress of its industrial and technological development, while the region is bubbling with know-how and skills.
The company adds that
ministerial authorization should aim to maximize contaminant emission reductions as quickly as possible.
Falco makes several recommendations in its brief, in particular the filing of an action plan, before the 2027 deadline, to achieve the standard of 3 nanograms per cubic meter in the air, the revision of the limits of the transition zone in order to reduce the exposure of citizens, the addition of measuring stations and the sharing of monitoring data with the public in real time.
The weather stations in the Rouyn-Noranda region could be put to good use, improved if necessary, and be accompanied by a research fund dedicated to the development of an artificial intelligence model based on weather data that would predict the risks of overrun in order to adjust, in real time, the activities accordinglyexplains the company.
Falco Resources also mentions that the closure of the Horne Smelter is not desirable for its business and also because there would be impacts on the vitality of the region.
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The Horne 5 project in jeopardy due to air quality? | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda
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