Quebec May Support Controversial Asbestos Mine's Revival

"Quebec is giving conditional support to a project that would revive one of Canada's last-remaining asbestos mines — even though its own public-health experts have condemned the initiative.

A consortium of investors is hoping the province will guarantee a $58-million bank loan they say is crucial to restarting the cash-strapped Jeffrey Mine in the city of Asbestos.

Quebec's economic development minister said Wednesday that with his government's support the group should have little trouble completing the deal.

'Our gesture today will remove the uncertainty,' said Clement Gignac.

'We are removing the uncertainty (in affirming) that the Quebec government will continue to support the chrysotile (asbestos) industry, will continue to support the region.'

Gignac also said a $7.5-million fund will be created to help diversify the region's economy. It will be financed, in part, on an annual basis by the mine's anticipated revenues."

Alexandre Robillard reports for the Canadian Press April 13, 2011.


Source: Canadian Press, 04/14/2011