Save ‘breathtaking’ west Quebec mine from demolition, petition urges – by Trevor Pritchard (CBC News Ottawa – October 04, 2016)

Tourists have flocked to remote Wallingford-Back Mine over past year, annoying residents

A scenic, off-limits mine in western Quebec that’s seen an influx of visitors over the past year could end up being demolished if a campaign to save it is unsuccessful.

The Wallingford-Back Mine, located approximately 60 kilometres northeast of Ottawa, has become a popular spot for paddlers, ice skaters and explorers, all drawn to its pristine turquoise waters and imposing rock pillars. However, Quebec’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources has issued an ultimatum to the regional municipality of Papineau, Que.: either invest money to secure the mine from trespassers, or demolish it.

In response, supporters of the mine launched a petition this weekend calling upon the site to be protected for its “undeniable richness, not only for the Outaouais region, but also for all of Quebec.” The petition had about 1,800 signatures by Monday afternoon.

“A lot of people compare the mine to an underground cathedral because it is so beautiful,” said Chantal Crête, one of the founders of a group devoted to preserving the mine. “It’s really breathtaking when you’re there.”

Closed since 1972, the Wallingford-Back Mine was once one of the largest quartz, mica and feldspar mines of its kind in North America.

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