A Canadian environmental group is taking DeBeers Canada to court, claiming the company failed to report toxic levels of mercury and methylmercury in the waters surrounding a northern Ontario diamond mine.
The Wildlands League, a chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, says De Beers has failed to consistently report the levels of methylmercury in the creeks surrounding the Victor Diamond Mine, located 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat First Nation.
De Beers Group denies the allegations, saying, “To suggest that we have not been reporting per our legal requirements for seven years is grossly misleading. That is simply not true.”
Diamonds taken out of the Victor Mine are known as being among the highest quality in the world, renowned for their exceptional colour and clarity. The Victor open pit diamond mine is located in the ecologically pristine James Bay Lowlands.
The environmentalists allege the company has neglected to properly report on mercury levels from five of nine surface water monitoring stations from 2009 to 2016, which is a violation of the mine’s condition to operate, and that these are offences under the Ontario Water Resources Act. Anna Baggio, conservation director at Wildlands League, said the group first alerted the Ontario government 18 months ago about the missing data but nothing was done.
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