[Timmins] City to collect own data on open pit – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – August 8, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – It’s another sign that the Hollinger Mine will soon be coming back to life, courtesy of Goldcorp/Porcupine Gold Mines.

As Timmins residents well know, with renewed activity at the historic gold mine will come daily blasts and the bustle of trucking and transporting its precious resources.

A big part of the success of the Hollinger open-pit project will depend on the company keeping noise, vibrations, dust levels and emissions to a minimum so as not to disturb the properties and daily lives of neighbouring residents.

Timmins city council ensured measures will be taken to monitor such levels, entering into an eight-year agreement with Aercoustics. The contract will give the city its own set of information regarding the mine’s activities.

“They will provide us with our own monitoring equipment so we can compare that information to the information collected by Goldcorp,” explained city head of public works and engineering Luc Duval.

A city staff report presented to council pointed out that, “While the City of Timmins recognized the high level of monitoring and reporting being put in place by Goldcorp, we also wanted to have an independent party provide insight and professional opinions on the monitoring program, the data collected and the accuracy of the information being collected. This third-party assignment will provide an unbiased opinion to the City of Timmins and its residents.”

As per an agreement with the city, Goldcorp will cover the cost of the $24,000 per year owed to the consulting company.

Coun. Steve Black pointed out, “When we’re dealing with a private business, I want to make sure residents are aware (Goldcorp) is covering the cost.”

The eight-year length of the contract matches up with Goldcorp’s estimated lifespan of the Hollinger open pit, though the city can choose to end or extend the contract depending on how long the mine actually lasts.

Through the company’s Best Management Plan in conjunction with the city, Goldcorp has promised to keep all levels below certain trigger points. It is expected that keeping below these levels will allow mining activity to minimally interfere with residents.

At a project update in April, Goldcorp/PGM general manager Marc Lauzier explained that, “The focal point of our plan is the system we’ve installed to measure vibration, sound and dust levels. It’s interesting because it’s probably the best system installed in Ontario. Every time the Ministry of Environment comes to inspect it, they tell us no one in the South has installed a system like this. It’s just to give you an idea.”

Levels will be measured continuously, 24 hours per day and seven days per week both by Goldcorp, and by the third-party hired by city council at Wednesday’s special council meeting. Information collected will be available in real-time on Goldcorp’s Hollinger Project website, and via the city’s website.

Duval said the equipment and expertise provided by Aercoustics will give the city an important backup set of information.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/08/07/city-to-collect-own-data-on-open-pit