Environmental Watchdog: De Beers Not Monitoring Contamination at Victor Mine

Mining and Exploration
22/12/2015 13:54

A new report released by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's (CPAWS) Wildlands League has alleged that neither De Beers nor the national government could monitor mercury risks from the Victor Diamond mine in northern Ontario. The study titled "Nothing to See Here" is the result of an investigation carried out by the environmental group for 18 months and calls for environmental monitoring of the mine. The investigation found failures in self-monitoring and increased concerns about entrusting the company to protect the environment in which it operates. CPAWS Wildlands League policy and research director Trevor Hesselink said: "De Beers has failed to report on five out of nine surface water monitoring stations, a mandatory requirement of its permit, for the last seven years. "To compound matters, it is the downstream mercury samples that are not being reported."

De Beers denied the allegations and stated that its environmental data is often misrepresented. De Beers spokesperson Tom Ormsby told CBC News that the company collects data from 200 ground wells and 15 surface wells and submits it to the government. Ormsby said: "Some sample sites that were relevant in the past may no longer be the most relevant or material now as the mine moved from construction to operations." The Victor mine opened in 2008 and has an expected operations life of ten years.