[Mining] Berm altering Timmins skyline – by Len Gillis (Timmins Daily Press – May 27, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – The landscape in the heart of Timmins is changing and with the arrival of spring, the change has become that much more obvious. Motorists travelling into downtown Timmins from the East End can now easily see the new rock berm rising in the west, behind Schumacher.

The berm is the work of Goldcorp Porcupine Gold Mines, which is installing it to surround the new Hollinger open pit mine. It is designed to lessen the impact of dust, noise and vibration that is expected to occur during the mining operations.

Work on the new berm is especially noticeable for anyone driving along Vipond Road in recent weeks.

Rick Dubeau, city councillor and chairman of the Hollinger Project Community Advisory Committee (HPCAC), referred to the change in his most recent community report. “You can see the skyline of the city drastically change as the berms are constructed,” he wrote.

PGM has indicated that the berm will be covered with earth and eventually landscaped once the mining work is done, sometime in the next eight or nine years.

Dubeau said the berm is indeed going to become a permanent part of the city’s skyline.

“Oh definitely the landscape is changing. That berm is going to be there forever,” Dubeau said. “They’re going to start seeding it; they’re talking about late summer or early fall.”

To give the berm a more natural look, it has been designed to have different heights. Instead of having a wall with just one level, the berm will be designed with a rolling wave effect with differing heights.

Dubeau explained that in time, the berm will look much different than the big pile of rocks people now see.

“It will be seeded and landscaped. There will be a trail system there eventually. The idea going forward is land reclamation and it will be green,” he said.

Dubeau said he expects the Vipond Road area will be the first to be reseeded. He said the change there is quite noticeable as the berm extends from Fairway Village all the way to the former Extendicare building. He said he is keeping a positive outlook for the greening effort that Goldcorp PGM is working on.

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