(Montreal/Val d’Or) Quebec groups welcome and respect the decision announced today by Malartic residents to accept an out-of-court agreement with Canadian Malartic Mine Corporation (Agnico-Eagle/Yamana Gold).
In 2016, residents launched an unprecedented multi-million class suit against the largest Canadian gold producer for its noise, dust, blasting, and ground tremors impacts.
"This agreement includes additional compensations for the residents located closest to the mine site, within 800m of the pit edge," stated Ugo Lapointe of Coalition Quebec Meilleure Mine and MiningWatch Canada.
"Residents were open to settle out of court from the outset of this class action suit. Today’s announcement is a reflection that both parties were now ready to settle,” explained Marc Nantel of Regroupement Vigilance Mines de l’Abitibi et du Témiscamingue.
The agreement will have to be approved by the court to become official. It will be presented to local residents and class suit members this Friday, October 18th, 2019 in Malartic.
Although out-of-court settlements are almost always the results of compromises between divergent interests, the groups recognize the following benefits to the affected citizens:
- ending years of litigation and avoiding a four-month long, costly hearing in 2020;
- retroactive compensation for the years 2013 to 2018;
- additional compensation for the years 2019 to 2021, despite improvements in environmental performance of the mine;
- additional compensation of up to $1.7 million for house retrofitting and renovation for all the property owners;
- no legal fees or costs for the citizens.
Nantel added, "Perhaps more importantly, we hope that this agreement will allow affected community members to move forward and reconcile with their neighbours, healing the deep social divisions that can build over the years in the community.”
Residents will be able to express their opinion to the court about the terms of the agreement. "We want to recognize the importance of the citizens’ movement over the last four years, without which we believe there would never be an agreement today,” concluded Lapointe.
For more information:
- Ugo Lapointe, MiningWatch Canada, cell (514) 708-0134
- Marc Nantel, REVIMAT, home (819) 737-8620, cell (819) 734-7981