Environmental Enforcement at Ontario Graphite Mine

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks recently issued an amended Order to Ontario Graphite Ltd. (OGL), a mining company operating in Kearney. The Order requires the following actions:

  1. The implementation of a long term water level monitoring program of the wastewater treatment works.
  2. The construction of a polishing pond system to treat industrial wastewater generated from the mining operation.
  3. The construction of a stormwater trench and groundwater collection system.

The company is appealing the latest Order from the Environment Ministry.

Ontario Graphite Mine, Kearney, Ontario (Photo Credit: NorthBayNipissing.com)

The OGL mining operation is located in Kearney, Ontario. The town is situated in the Almaguin Highlands region of Parry Sound District of Ontario, Canada.  With a landmass of 531 square kilometres and a year-round population of 882 in the Canada 2016 Census, Kearney claims to be the “Biggest Little Town in Ontario.”  Butt Township was amalgamated with the Town of Kearney in 1979.

The Order is a the latest in a number Orders issued against OGL. In 2018, the Ontario Environment Ministry issued an Emergency Director’s Order to Ontario Graphite Ltd. (OGL) related to its mining site in Butt Township, Kearney, Ontario.  An Emergency Director’s Order is issued when the Environment Ministry is of the opinion that inaction of a situation can result in one or more of the following: danger to the health or safety of any person; harm or serious risk of harm to the environment; or injury or damage or serious risk of injury or damage to any property.

Under the 2018 Emergency Order, OGL was required to take immediate actions to protect the natural environment and to prevent or reduce the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment from the undertaking or property, or to prevent, decrease or eliminate an adverse effect.

OGL is a privately owned Canadian mining company is in the process of re-commissioning and operating the Kearney Graphite Mine, one of the largest confirmed graphite mineral resource projects in North America and among the largest individual deposits in the world. OGL estimates that there are sufficient graphite reserves at the site to maintain mining operations for over 30 years.

Graphite is a crystalline form a carbon. It occurs naturally in this form and is the most stable form of carbon under standard conditions. Graphite is used in pencils and lubricants.

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