Thomas Resources to explain mine project to public

Cory Hurley
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CORNER BROOK — Thomas Resources officials are planning to come to Corner Brook to offer a public presentation on its proposal for mineral exploration in the city’s watershed.

Thursday, Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley said the company, a subsidiary of Pennecon Group, requested an extension before council makes its decision on whether to approve the next phase of the project. The presentation could be in late February or early March, according to the mayor.

Meanwhile, if Greeley can be shown exploration activity in the watershed poses very little risk to the water supply, he would support it, but he says he’ll wait until he has all information available to him before he makes such a decision.

It is an impending decision of council. Thomas Resources has requested permission from the city to carry out mineral exploration in the Corner Brook Lakes Watershed area. Part of the research and analysis phase for a potential mining project, the exploration work is described as a low-impact stage of determining what resources exist and in what quantity.

The deadline to submit comments as part of the 45-day public consultation has passed, and Greeley said there was a fair bit of feedback received during that period. In fact, he and the rest of council were contacted by a number of citizens as part of a lobbying campaign to stop the activity.

The mayor said it is important for people taking a position on this issue to take an informed one. He hopes people would not become engrossed in the “rhetoric” implying the water supply is going to be contaminated.

“Those kinds of things just lead to fear in people,” Greeley said. “I would just try to encourage anybody to review the Watershed Management Plan and review the application — where they are looking to go and what they are looking to do. Those are the things council is compelled to do in its due diligence of making a decision.”

The city’s Watershed Management Plan and the proponent’s application are available at

All information has been passed along to the city’s Watershed Management Committee for its review. The group now has to make its recommendation to council. Council will then bring it to a public meeting, debate it, and vote on whether to approve or decline the application. The vote was expected to occur in a public meeting in March.

Greeley said he has done his own research on the issue, has reviewed the application and the Watershed Management Plan, but he is waiting on the committee’s recommendation before coming to a final decision.

Any decision regarding a mine is a long way away, he said. A company would have to undertake a strict provincial environmental impact assessment, at a large cost to the proponent.

Organizations: Pennecon Group, Watershed Management Committee

Geographic location: CORNER BROOK, Corner Brook Lakes Watershed

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Recent comments

  • George Alteen
    February 09, 2013 - 15:08

    I have just read Thomas resources proposal for drilling near the water supply.Not much information enclosed.I have seen more information on an aspirin bottle.The names of the C.E.O and the contact person have been blacked out.What is the big secret about these guys???There are errors in the size of the drill holes.5MM holes are not 2 inch holes.There are no elevations on the drill hole maps.They will be drilling on bed rock.There is no way to mine bed rock without blasting.Keep these secret guys away from our water supply.If something goes wrong we do not even have a contact name.

  • Ropar
    February 08, 2013 - 13:45

    I agree with all three of the previous statements. Are they really naive enough to think the company with dollars to gain is really going to tell them that there are dangers and possibility of contamination? Come on. I guess it's politicians that gives us the "dumb" reputation. It's too late after they're given the go-ahead and suddenly "oops, we underestimated the negative impact, see-ya". I am a mother and I'm proud of the fact that we don't have to be afraid to play in a stream or swim in a lake, that may not always be the case if the price if right. We have a beautiful, natural province. Why would we risk any damage? Why would we take any chances with that? You don't get a do-over if you screw it up. We have one environment, and our health and happiness is woven very deeply with it. No amount of money is enough. "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we are borrowing it from our children". These things make me so sad.

  • George Alteen
    February 08, 2013 - 13:37

    We have 42,000 sq.miles of land on this island.Surely Thomas resources could find another area to explore.This watershed is a very sensitive area.Just a few years ago a colony of beavers made the water undrinkable.What ever results Thomas resources comes up with is a moot point.If the mayor thinks an expensive enviromental study will scare these guy off he is living in a fools paradise.As for a public meeting,I was at the last one on the council raises.Everyone in the room was against it.I was at the city hall meeting for the vote and they ejected us from the gallery and voted for their raise.So much for public meetings and democracy.

    • Judy
      February 08, 2013 - 15:51

      I agree that the watershed area is a very sensitive area. You've made a great point on the beaver colony and it's effects just a short while ago along with the impact it had on the water itself.

    • david
      February 08, 2013 - 16:52

      Yes, why don't we find rich natrual resource deposits somewhere away from where decided to put towns? After all, it IS just random and all the same odds, right? Tell you what...I'll do up a little list of places that I'll allow you to look at....and you find the deposits and mines in those places. It will all be so much more convenient for everyone concerned! Itr always amazed me why people didn't simply find diamonds underneath Faour's Jewelry on West St, or oil beneath the PIpeline service station nearby....that would have been SO profitable, and yet they just sit there to this day....!

  • C. Boulos
    February 08, 2013 - 12:06

    This is very invasive exploring which indeed could affect the water supply and environment for the surrounding area.......and also affect health of the residents. Did you not see the article on CBC on "Fracking" ?? This is very scarey. NL does not need further exploration to result in ill health or destruction of our envionment. We are a healthy environmental province. Leave us that way. Wake up people!! Our children and grandchildren and future generations want to enjoy the fresh air we have.

  • M. White
    February 08, 2013 - 08:28

    what does he mean? HE will make the decision ? - with a project of this magitude that could affect our water supply and environment - it shld be decided on by the citizens of the area - not just one person or one committee....we are very concerned over this for our future water supply for everybody ....and believe that ALL citizens should be as well ...... PLEASE TREAD CAREFULLY !!!!

  • Edward Smith
    February 08, 2013 - 07:36

    In the article it says: "Meanwhile, if Greeley can be shown exploration activity in the watershed poses very little risk to the water supply, he would support it, but he says he’ll wait until he has all information available to him before he makes such a decision. " I can hear Thomas Resources now saying "Oh geez whiz, we'll be careful.." What could possibly go wrong with putting a mining operation in the city's watershed at a time when across Newfoundland and Labrador there are at any given moment about 200 boil orders for community water supply's that are contaminated. Of all the places in Newfoundland, Thomas Resources wants to start digging up our watershed? Hello? Corner Brook City Council? Hello? Is anybody there? Why not ship Greeley back to Upper Island Cove and let him dig up that community's watershed. It's too bad we can no longer tar and feather local politicians, don't you think?

    • Ill-informed citizen
      February 08, 2013 - 19:46

      Just another ill-informed citizen here-- so, the mayor said the drilling is going to be 1km from Corner Brook Lake... has he read the application? It's actually 600 metres. Who is ill-informed-- if it's not the concerned citizens, well, then it seems it might be the mayor! Every step in the process that is allowed to proceed, is one step further down a very slippery-slope that we will not be able to retrace. When you listen to the citizens mayor Greeley-- what is it that they are saying to you? You were not elected to act as a father-figure, but to act in the interest of-- and on the wishes of-- the people of Corner Brook.