Canada’s ban on asbestos to take effect but mining residues are exempt – by Mia Rabson (Financial Post – October 17, 2018)

CANADIAN PRESS – OTTAWA — Canada’s new asbestos ban will not prevent companies in Quebec from sifting through the waste left over from decades of mining asbestos to look for magnesium.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is set to announce the new regulations on Thursday in Ottawa after cabinet gave the nod of approval to them at the end of September.

The regulations, which will take effect at the end of the year, bar the import, sale or use of processed asbestos fibres and products containing them, as well as consumer products that have more than trace amounts of asbestos. They also forbid the manufacture of products using processed asbestos fibres.

The regulations however do not apply to residues left from mining asbestos, which in Canada include about 800 million tonnes of residue near mines in the Quebec towns of Thetford Mines and Asbestos.

Asbestos mines were the main economic driver in both regions for decades until concerns about health impacts of asbestos collapsed the market. The last mine in Canada, in Thetford Mines, stopped operating in 2011. As much as 40 per cent of the leftover rock still contains asbestos.

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