Critics declare 'victory' after Manitoba frac sand mine delay

Friday, February 07, 2020

CTV News

The proposed frac sand mine near Hollow Water First Nation, might not produce sand until 2022. (CTV file photo)

WINNIPEG -- Protestors of a proposed silica sand mine in northern Manitoba are celebrating a delay despite the company in charge of the development saying nothing has changed.

Glenn Leroux, the CEO of Canadian Premium Sand, said there's a chance that the large frac sand mine planned near Hollow Water First Nation, might not produce sand until 2022.

Delays came when the estimated cost for the project increased by almost $100 million.

"We had to go back, look at it and say what level is fundable," said Leroux.

He said things like this commonly happen in the industry, and the project is still going forward.

"They're making a conclusion that doesn't exist. This project isn't cancelled at all," said Leroux.

Leroux said the company has created a new design that will cost $120 million, allowing the project to continue.

"These are big projects, and these projects, you have to make sure you're going at them the right way and are spending the money the right way."

The Wilderness Committee of Manitoba is still calling the mine's delay a victory.

"The health of wilderness, climate and Manitobans is safer, as today Canadian Premium Sand (CPS) shelved construction plans for a devastating frac sand mine in Hollow Water First Nation territory," said the committee in a post on their website.

The frac sand mine has been controversial in the nearby Hollow Water First Nation, with some members setting up a camp to protect the land.

The Wilderness Committee of Manitoba claims the proposed frac sand mine could jeopardize the water system and threaten endangered species,

Leroux said there's no danger and that Sustainable Development Manitoba approved the mine, and the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change supported it.

Canadian Premium Sands said people's need for petroleum products isn't diminishing and the project will continue.


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