Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The closure of marine shipping for the North Coast draws near. A shipping season we had high hopes for after last years disaster of the Dutch Runner but ended up being the worse season for generations.

The break down of the Northern Ranger part way though the season was main contributor to the disaster, but the business  as usual attitude and the failure of the Government to find a replacement for the Ranger, or even a second freight boat, all contributed.

To business as usual, some freight arrives in communities in weird state, some with oil spilled on packages, brand new ski doos damaged, freight that is on the shipping manifest for that trip is found to be still in Lewisport (this has been a common complaint for years).

We have had a new minister for WST now for two and a half weeks. Not a lot of time for new blood to get up to speed, especially after the disaster of the predecessor, still we have had no news on the marine shipping file, nor on the road file as it pertains to the hard topping of the trans Labrador Highway.

More and more one comes closer to the conclusion, if one had not already reached it, that we in the Torngats District are being made victims for choosing a Liberal to represent us in in the last election.

It has been years since I did any research into mining companies and into geology. Last few days has seen a change in that, been doing a bit into rare earth minerals and the like.

Quest Rare Minerals Ltd has been hanging around more and more. They have done an exploratory drill program over in the head of Voiseys Bay this summer to find out viability of building a dock and loading-off loading facility. Meetings with Nunatsiavut Government have taken place, and I think maybe one open house but can be corrected on that.

Being a neophyte in this field it is very difficult to determine what is exactly going on here, but one thing that set red lights blinking is the fact that I cant find much reference to radio active mineralization in any of the companies blurbs, but in preliminary research the geology of rare earth minerals it is front and center.

The ores of rare earth elements are mineralogically and chemically complex and commonly radioactive. 

Reading through the data it seems that some very unfriendly to the environment activity has to take place to leach out the small amount of end product from large volumes of mined material.

Lets hope the folks who make decisions on sanctioning this potential mine have good research people and similar red lights start blinking.

Oh yeah, light fluffy snow is falling, and ahead of forecasted too. That will piss the airlines off no doubt.


Anonymous said...

Hi Brian, good post! Another concern with the Quest project specifically is the company's interest to build a road from the mine site across the width of Northern Labrador, to reach the deep water port at Voisey's Bay. While an ecologcally risky proposal in itself, it would also happen to cut through traditional calving areas of the George River herd and across the route of spring and fall migration. For a herd that's presently quite vulnerable, it's good to ask what impact this type of development could bring. http://www.mrn.gouv.qc.ca/english/wildlife/maps-caribou/pdf/Map_101108_E.pdf


Brian said...

Jeez cobber, ya stole my thunder, was going to get to that, maybe not as eloquently as you put it but get to it I will.

Thanks anyways, shows that others are thinking along same lines.