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The Legacy of Asbestos Mining in Newfoundland

Jamie Kneen Communications and Outreach Coordinator responsible for: strategic research, social media, and public engagement; our Africa program, environmental assessment, and uranium mining.

On March 15, 2005, the CBC aired a story titled “Mine site air heavily laden with asbestos” about the Baie Verte Mine in Newfoundland. The story was based on a provincial government study that CBC obtained through a freedom of information request. The study shows that the former mine — which produced more than two million tonnes of asbestos between 1950 and 1985 — left behind more than 200 million tonnes of waste rock and tailings, and is clearly not a safe place.

The study, by Amec Earth and Environmental, concluded that the “mine site buildings are heavily laden with asbestos” and that “it’s likely that airborne asbestos fibres preside throughout the site.”

The Newfoundland Government commissioned the site assessment in 2004, but has said that the final report of the research would not be made public.