Arsenic in the air, fear and anger on the ground – by Eric Andrew-Gee (Globe and Mail – January 23, 2023)

As research shows carcinogens in their children’s bodies, people in Rouyn-Noranda are demanding more loudly that the local copper smelter – long exempt from provincial emissions rules – should clean up its act

Ethan Valois is eight now, and the arsenic levels in his body have started to come down. He and his parents live in Rouyn-Noranda, Que., home to a copper smelter that emits the known carcinogen at levels about 30 times higher than the provincial limit.

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USW: Canada lags protecting miners from diesel particulate – by Len Gillis ( – December 11, 2022)

Canada allows miners to be breathe more diesel particulate — much more — than the U.S. EU, or Australia, so Steelworkers Local 6500 launch campaign to push for much lower exposure limit

United Steelworkers Local 6500 and several industrial health advocates in Sudbury have launched a new campaign to clear the air and make it easier to breathe in underground mines.

The effort is aimed at reducing the amount of allowable diesel particulate that exposes thousands of miners to carcinogenic levels of particulates in the mining industry.

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‘We are truly sorry’: Ontario apologizes for role in McIntyre Powder experiment – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – November 30, 2022)

Province acknowledges its role in debunked practice during Nov. 30 delivery in Legislative Assembly

With miners and family members looking on, the Province of Ontario officially apologized Wednesday for its role in exposing underground hard rock miners to aluminum dust during their work in Northern Ontario over a span of nearly four decades.

The Nov. 30 address delivered on a promise House Leader Paul Calandra made last spring that the province would acknowledge its failure to protect miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre Powder as a condition of employment — a practice that was endorsed by the government of the day and later proven to be not only useless, but harmful.

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Toxic Towns: Don’t hold your breath – by Malone Mullin (CBC News Interactives – November 28, 2022)

In Baie Verte, N.L., a mine that once brought prosperity now symbolizes pain, suffering and death. Nobody knows how to get rid of it.

This is Part I of a three-part series on contaminated sites in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In Émile Zola’s 1885 novel Germinal, a French mining town, filled with families dependent on coal, is plotting a strike. It’s not an idyllic existence, living in 19th-century Montsou. Workers and their families sleep in shacks, eat mostly bread and rarely embrace leisure.

Eventually, they’re consumed by the massive beast whose tendrils reach deep underground. The mine, named Le Voreux, holds such sway over the townspeople’s lives that it transforms into a character in itself; figuratively speaking, by the end of the book, it eats its servants alive.

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Ontario to apologize to miners forced to use McIntyre Powder – by Len Gillis (Northern Ontario Business – November 9, 2022)

Sudbury MPP Jamie West wins agreement from Ontario Legislature to apologize to miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre Powder as part of their job

At the end of this month, the Ontario legislature is expected to become united for a few moments as all members of all parties at Queen’s Park will offer an apology to a select group of miners, their widows and their families.

On Nov. 8, Sudbury MPP Jamie West held a news conference at the Miners’ Memorial in Bell Park to announce the Ontario legislature would offer a formal apology to a generation of miners who were forced to inhale a substance called McIntyre Powder, a substance that new research shows caused some of those miners to develop Parkinson’s disease.

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Death toll rises to 41 in Turkey coal mine explosion – by MEHMET GUZEL and ZEYNEP BILGINSOY (ABC News/Associated Press – October 15, 2022)

AMASRA, Turkey — Funerals for miners killed in a coal mine explosion in northern Turkey began Saturday as officials raised the death toll to at least 41 people.

Desperate relatives had waited all night in the cold outside the state-owned Turkish Hard Coal Enterprise’s (TTK) mine in the town of Amasra, in the Black Sea coastal province of Bartin, hoping for news. There were 110 miners working several hundred meters below ground at the time of the explosion on Friday evening.

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Radiation Victims Seek Expansion of 32-Year-Old Compensation Act – by Carolyn Campbell (Daily Yonder – October 11, 2022)


Larry King crossed his arms and leaned back in his chair on the stone porch of his ancestral home in Church Rock, New Mexico. The Puerco River, which irrigates ranch land, is just beyond the fence. He breathes heavily, pushing his voice raspy. “I’m 65. I’m one of the younger, aging uranium miners who worked in the uranium mines. My lungs aren’t so good,” he says.

In addition to being a miner, his home borders the site of the largest radioactive spills in U.S history. In July 1979, a dam at the uranium mine broke, releasing over 94 million gallons of toxic waste into the river behind his house and into the fields and water table.

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[Yellowknife] A city divided – by Rachel Zelniker (CBC News Interactives – September 14, 2022)

In 1992, a labour dispute that would last 18 months tore Yellowknife apart, culminating in an explosion that killed nine miners. The fallout of one of Canada’s largest mass murders still lingers in this northern city.

Today, Yellowknife only tangentially resembles its history as a gold mining town. The city sits atop the Canadian Shield, a large expanse of ancient bedrock, one of the world’s richest areas in terms of its mineral ores.

But a dilapidated mining headframe is one of the last vestiges of the area’s days as a gold mining capital. The city’s biggest gold mine has been closed for decades.

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Canadian-owned mining company and executives found guilty of involuntary homicide after Burkina Faso flood disaster – by Geoffrey York and Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – September 14, 2022)

A Canadian-owned mining company and two executives at its zinc mine in Burkina Faso have been convicted of involuntary homicide in connection with a flooding disaster that killed eight mine workers.

The flooding, which followed a sudden torrential rainfall at the site in April, trapped the workers underground and led to a 66-day search that eventually found them dead, several hundred metres below ground, after 165 million litres of water had been pumped out of the mine.

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‘Treated as guinea pigs’: Ontario miners await apology after being forced to inhale McIntyre powder – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – September 9, 2022)

Former miners were forced to inhale an aluminum powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979 that is now linked with Parkinson’s disease

In the late 1970s, a 20-year-old Roger Genoe would try to sneak through the tunnels of an Ontario uranium mine to avoid a room where he and other workers were forced to inhale an aluminum powder that was supposed to be a preventive step against silicotic lung disease.

“They would catch you and send you back there. If you didn’t go you would get penalized,” Genoe, now 66, said on Thursday during a conference call by the New Solutions journal that featured former miners who were forced to inhale McIntyre powder in Ontario between 1943 and 1979, when authorities were trying to tackle the rise in cases of silicosis.

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Trapped Mexico miners: Setback as water levels rise – by Vanessa Buschschlüter ( – August 15, 2022)

Attempts to rescue 10 men from a flooded mine in Mexico have been delayed after the water levels in three shafts rose suddenly on Sunday. The miners became trapped on 3 August when a wall in a tunnel collapsed and water from an adjacent chamber gushed into the three shafts.

Officials say the water has to drop to a depth of 1.5m (5ft) to allow rescuers to enter the shafts safely. But on Sunday, it suddenly rose again to more than 20m.

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For those who were there, June 20, 1984, remains fresh as ever – by Harold Carmichael (Sudbury Star – June 21, 2022)

Four miners died following a massive rockburst struck Falconbridge Mine

The massive rockburst that struck Falconbridge Mine at about 10:12 a.m. June 20, 1984, that claimed four lives has left Rick Grylls and Tom Rannelli with memories that will never fade.

Grylls, a past president of the Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor union that represents production and maintenance workers at the former Falconbridge Limited (now Glencore’s Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations), had just put the electrical in the stope at the mine the week before He was embarking on a new job as financial secretary of his union when disaster struck.

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Milliman: Black-Lung Liabilities Top $9 Billion as Coal Industry Shrinks – by William Rabb (Claims Journal – June 9, 2022)

The U.S. coal industry may be shrinking rapidly as the country shifts to renewable energy, but insurers’ and self-insured companies’ liabilities for black-lung occupational disease claims have ballooned – to an estimated $9 billion and perhaps more than $14 billion.

pastedGraphic.pngThat’s according to a recent report from Milliman, the global actuarial and consulting firm. The study’s authors took a first-ever look at the cost of existing and future claims, payments for which will continue for years to come.

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Authorities hope to reach survivors trapped in Canadian-owned mine in Burkina Faso – by Georgie Smyth (CBC News World – May 10, 2022)

The race to reach eight workers trapped in a flooded, Canadian-owned zinc mine in West Africa is making progress. Trevali Mining Corp. says access to its Perkoa Mine in Burkina Faso is improving after more than 32 million litres of water were pumped out of the shaft.

Workers became trapped more than 500 metres below the surface on April 16, after heavy rain caused flash flooding which breached two embankments outside the mine, said Trevali in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday. Sixteen other workers underground at the time were able to escape.

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Nova Scotia: March, memorial service to mark 30th anniversary of Westray disaster – by Paul Palmeter (CBC News Nova Scotia – May 9, 2022)

26 men died in underground explosion at Pictou County mine

Joe MacKay will never forget the explosion at the Westray mine 30 years ago today. The underground explosion in Plymouth, N.S., killed 26 miners. One of them was MacKay’s brother, Mike. “He loved his bikes, including a chopper he just thought the world of,” said MacKay. “He loved his family. His kids meant everything to him.”

Mike MacKay was 38. He was the father of two young children. Like the other men who worked at the mine, he had only been working there for nine months after it opened in September 1991.

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