Residents anxious for redeveloped mine property – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – February 28, 2014)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – As a neighbouring property owner, Luc Murray has a vested interest in the long-term plans for the Hollinger mine pit site.

“This is a piece of land that nobody can use right now,” said Murray, whose business, OK Tire and Auto Service, sits directly adjacent to the mine pit property. “It’s land that is right in the middle of the city. It’s a big blank spot there.”

For Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, the open-pit project represents an opportunity to profit from some of the residual lower grade ore that is still buried there. Murray sees a longer-term benefit with some old hazards being removed and the land being converted into a greenspace the whole community could enjoy.

“The way they are doing it right now, it’s going to be beneficial for everybody,” said Murray, who was among the members of the public who attended an open house hosted by Goldcorp at the McIntyre Ballroom Thursday.

Trish Buttineau, co-ordinator of communications and corporate social responsibility, explained, “Even though we’ve just started mining, we’re already starting the planning for closure and the hope is the community will get together and give us their ideas and tell us what they’d like to see. Do they want more trail systems? Do they want a skateboard park? Do they want just a forested area or a manicured park? Do they want a beach or do they just want boat access? Do they want to be able to swim? That’s what we’re trying to get today (at the meeting Thursday). We want to hear what the community thinks of the project.”

Kees Pols, general manager of the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority, took the opportunity of the open house to promote the idea of using the land to extend the city’s existing walking trail system.

“Trails as a first phase is a cheap thing to implement and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck for taking that approach,” said Pols. “The site has so much potential for other recreational activities so certainly trails will interconnect all of that.

“The location of this being close to Gillies Lake and Pearl Lake and the rejuvenated tailings of the Hollinger, it’s all one compact package that you could interconnect it handily with some connecting trails. It would be a great core trail system right in the heart of the community.”

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