Thomas Resources launches new website

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CORNER BROOK  Thomas Resources Inc. has launched a new website in an attempt to provide more information on the proposed drilling project in Corner Brook.

People can learn more about how the organization hopes to explore for garnet and kyanite in the Corner Brook Lake area by visiting www.thomasresourcesinc.ca.

The subsidiary company of Pennecon Group has proposed a mineral exploration program, which would involve the drilling of 21 holes in accordance with stringent regulations and guidelines.

The website was created to facilitate discussion and provide information, according to project manager, Rod Mercer.

“We have listened to concerns raised and want to ensure that the people of Corner Brook can access accurate information about the project and our organization, at their convenience,” Mercer stated in a press release.

“With this information at their fingertips, I believe that residents will have a better understanding of the proposed project and the steps TRI has taken to create an economic opportunity that has minimal environmental impact.”

Thomas Resources’ proposed low-impact exploration project has already exceeded regulatory requirements, according to the press release. Within the watershed, no activity is allowed within one kilometre of the intake, 75 metres from the main river channel, and 50 metres from Corner Brook Lake.

The nearest proposed drill site is seven kilometres from the intake, 1.5 kilometres from the main river, and approximately 400 metres from Corner Brook Lake. Other mitigation measures include using helicopters to minimize land disturbance, collecting ‘cuttings’ (rock chips) for proper disposal, and a commitment to re-vegetate any areas that do not grow back naturally.

“With this information at their fingertips, I believe that residents will have a better understanding of the proposed project and the steps TRI has taken to create an economic opportunity that has minimal environmental impact.” Rod Mercer, project manager

Much of the website focuses on information already in the public domain, which the company has provided over the past few months. However, the new site also highlights environmental commitments made to ensure no risk is posed to Corner Brook’s water supply if a viable deposit is identified.  

One mitigation measure discussed on the new site is the potential modifications to the city’s intake pipe.

The designated protected water supply for the city is the Eastern Lakes Watershed and the Corner Brook Lake Watershed is not. These two watersheds flow into Corner Brook Stream, where the city's water intake pipe is located. As a result, the city receives water from both the Eastern Lakes Watershed (the protected water supply) and the Corner Brook Lake Watershed. These two watersheds combined can serve the normal water requirements for a city many times larger than Corner Brook, stated the press release.

If Thomas Resources is successful in determining that a viable deposit is present in the area, a very reasonable mitigation for ensuring no affect to the water supply would be to separate the Eastern Lakes Watershed from the Corner Brook Lake Watershed by modifying the intake pipe, stated Mercer.

newsroom@thewesternstar.com

Organizations: Pennecon Group

Geographic location: Corner Brook Lake

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Recent comments

  • Keith Cormeir
    April 29, 2013 - 16:30

    The important thing to to ensure that information is correct. I note on one of the TR maps an area shaded in purple. The area was cut by Kruger many years ago. The interesting thing people may not know is that area is in an area called the Valley fo the Lakes and actually the water flows into Grand Lake and not the Corner Brook Lake system. At first glance one would assume that the cutting was adjacant to the water supply. it is actual on the other side af a ridge that I think is close to 1400 ft above seal level and flows the other way. So don't believe everything you see.

  • Rod Lyver
    April 29, 2013 - 09:24

    If what Mr. Mercer says is true then why all the controversy? Simply put this has been a communications nightmare, both on Thomas Resources and the citys part. Why wasn't this information communicated earlier in the process? I'm now on the fence and will have to dig a little deeper and give it more thought.

  • Rod Mercer
    April 27, 2013 - 18:11

    I would like to ask all who have commented on this story if they visited our website and looked at the maps and read about the project before they commented? the fact is, the protected watershed is 7 kms away from our project.You can confirm this on the Water Resources website, they have a Google Earth showing all the watersheds in the province. Modifying the intake pipe so that Corner Brook receives water from its protected watershed and not an unprotected watershed is what we are talking about. At our expense if the project is viable. If you think about it, this proposal takes all the 'risk' that everyone keeps referring to, away.We are proposing economic development with no risk to the protected water supply. This is a good project worthy of a chance.

  • Pat M
    April 27, 2013 - 17:58

    Rod Mercer - I am well aware of how gold is retrieved, first hand, as I worked at the Hope Brook minesite. With or without the chemicals, in my opinion, any mining operation should not be located where you are proposing, Are you as condescending to everyone who does not agree with you. The rest of Corner Brook may have a different opinion, but I stand by mine. And, I do know the facts, or I would never have spoke at all. I hope everyone who see these posts can read between the lines here.

  • Corner Brook resident
    April 27, 2013 - 09:02

    Is ' Wendy' your real handle?

  • Francine
    April 26, 2013 - 21:51

    People like Foghorn Leghorn and Pat M are all worried about the proposed drilling in the watershed and how it could contaminate their drinking water, but do they have any idea of what REALLY goes on in the watershed every day? Whatever Thomas Resources does back there is regulated and monitored 10 ways to Sunday. What about all the 'outdoors enthusiasts' who are back there hiking and hunting with their quads and snowmobiles? Who's monitoring and regulating them? They're all over the place, and in the winter they're traveling over the actual ponds and lakes with machines full of oil and gas. The risk of one of those machines ending up IN the water supply is probably far greater than any risk posed by a company that has a full environmental protection plan governing their activities, and which is being watched like hawks as they drill 21 holes into the rocks KILOMETERS away from the lake. Besides all that, the current watershed is only the watershed as long as the intake pipe remains where it is. IF TRI finds enough minerals to make a mine worthwhile they have to go through another entire process of approvals and environmental reviews before the mine can be approved and then, if the intake is moved, the area they are looking at is not even part of the watershed any more. I certainly trust a company that's bound by all these rules more than I trust some guy on a quad who's probably had a couple of beers before he goes barrelling through the watershed with his buddies singing "Got to Get Me Moose, B'y!"

    • Foghorn Leghorn
      April 27, 2013 - 09:08

      @ Francine - I don't think that the simply drilling 21 holes is the problem here. It is the Quarry/Mine that may go in there afterwards. To answer your question yes I have been in that area a number of times. If people were only aware of the devastation that has been caused in the area by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. In many areas they have harvested all of the trees up to the buffer zones. Then we wonder why we need to invest millions of dollars for a water treatment plant to ensure we have safe drinking water. Why take the risk?

    • Pat M
      April 27, 2013 - 09:37

      Francine (or whoever Thomas Resources or the City would like to call you), you have way too much technical information to have an unbiased opinion on a matter that impacts on the drinking water of Corner Brook citizens. Yes we have many 'outdoors enthusiasts' who frequent our backwoods. Hunting, hiking, etc. There is pollution everywhere, and we all know that. But, the degree of poisoning our environment that is done by our 'outdoors enthusiasts', as you call us, is miniscule compared to the degree of 'oil and gas' used by a mining operation. So let's say the drilling does not harm our water supply, as is being stated by Thomas Resources and the 'six ways to Sunday' regulations and monitoring actually work - then what. How do they mine the product for the years it takes to deplete that resource, without contamination. As I said earlier, in my opinion, and last I heard I was still entitled to my opinion, I hope Thomas Resources drill elsewhere. Your comments are rude and childish by the way, and I am not a person who rides a quad, drinks beer singing funny hunting songs, although I do like 'Buddy Wassisname', but I am educated, intelligent and like most of the people who live in Corner Brook who will be affected by this activity. Whether you like it or not, as the saying goes here - we were born on a rock, not under one. Please do not insult our intelligence with your inuendos and references in the manner that you just did Francine.

    • Francine
      April 28, 2013 - 07:54

      Pat M, you're right. I do have a lot of technical information. I learned a lot from asking the right questions of the right people AND LISTENING TO THE ANSWERS they gave me. And yes, Francine is my real name, and I also happen to be well educated and an outdoor enthusiast who has spent time in the watershed area. When I first heard of this plan I thought someone at City Hall was smoking crack to even consider it, but then I got more information and formed an EDUCATED opinion on the issue.

  • Wendy
    April 26, 2013 - 16:05

    Just finished reviewing the Thomas Resources website..The maps posted clearly show that there project area is kms away from the protected watershed area..Their approach outlined under the Project tab is very reasonable. I hope they are sucessful!

    • Pat M
      April 26, 2013 - 19:57

      400 metres is only 1200 ft. from Corner Brook Lake. To close for comfort in my opinion. Drill elsewhere. Just look at some pics of the Hopebrook minesite to see why I have this opinion.

    • Rod Mercer
      April 27, 2013 - 08:57

      Pat M, Hope Brook can not be compared to Corner Brook Lake. Hope Brook was a gold mine that required chemical seperation to retrieve the gold..Corner Brook Lake is a garnet/kyanite deposit and if we are sucessful, the processing will be 100% physical seperation (gravity and magnetic seperation)..NO Chemicals..If you are going to make a public comment it is important that you understand the facts before you hit the keyboard.

    • Francine
      April 27, 2013 - 09:00

      Thanks for bringing up Hope Brook mine, Pat M. The reason we have such comprehensive and strict environmental protection rules these days is because of everything that was done WRONG at Hope Brook. Thomas Resources has to operate on a whole different set of rules than they did way back then. Lessons learned lead to progress.

  • Pat M
    April 26, 2013 - 14:28

    Companies say what they need to say in order to try and convince people they will do no harm to our water supply. Although the general public of Corner Brook are not all engineers, geologists, biologists, etc., we are the people who drink the water that could/will be affected by this proposed drilling project. Can they guarantee the water will not be affected by this drilling activity. No they cannot. They can provide whatever information they want on their new website, words are words. I agree with Foghorn Leghorn, the answer should be no. The thought of it is rediculous that this location would be considered. In my opinion.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    April 26, 2013 - 10:59

    I think that Mr. Mercer / Thomas Resources must think that we are all brain dead. People simply do not want the risk of an industrial development in the middle of a major water supply. He could promise that magical fairies will drop out of the sky every day and clean up any potential debris. Why take the risk? The answer should be plain and simple - No!

    • Wendy
      April 26, 2013 - 16:58

      My guess is that he only thinks that about people with handles like Foghorn Leghorn...If you have something to say why not use your correct name?

    • Foghorn Leghorn
      April 27, 2013 - 09:14

      @"Wendy" - I am guessing your last name is either Mercer or you are a shareholder of Thomas Resources / Pennecon. Maybe that is why you didn't use your name as well. Fortunately we all have the right to speak up and ensure that things are done properly. It is simply too late when the damage has been done.