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Marathon PGM to find alternatives to destroying Bamoos Lake

MiningWatch has been informed in an e-mail from the company, and confirmed by the staff for local MP Bruce Hyer, that Marathon PGM is no longer considering the destruction of Bamoos Lake as one of two tailings management options.

The e-mail states:

After consultation with First Nations, government agencies and residents of Marathon and surrounding communities, it became clear that the loss of the fishery in Bamoos Lake was undesirable. Accordingly, Marathon PGM has decided unilaterally to withdraw the North Option from further consideration.

As a consequence of this change in the development plans for the Marathon project, Marathon PGM requested a brief hiatus period in the federal environmental assessment process to re-evaluate potential process solids storage options. The South Option remains technically and financially viable as documented in the mine feasibility study and will continue to be pursued. In addition, the Marathon PGM project team is assessing other potential options, considering the input that we have received through our public consultation program. The company plans to submit an addendum to the Project Description Report to CEAA and MPMO by mid-July 2010, detailing the results of the re-evaluation process. The environmental assessment process is expected to proceed without any significant effect on the overall schedule.

Local citizens groups are thrilled with the company's decision but remain concerned about the proposed "South Option". While it would save Bamoos Lake it would still have an impact on several smaller waterbodies.

Congratulations to Citizens for a Responsible Mine in Marathon for their effective organizing.