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Sep. 1 Cda: Quebec Government Extends Deadline for Asbestos Mine Relaunch

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From Mesothelioma News:

The Quebec government announced Monday that it will allow more time for private investors attempting to relaunch the Jeffery asbestos mine to complete their financing talks. The group now has until Oct. 1 to raise the $25 million the Quebec government is demanding before it can guarantee $58 million of loans. The initial deadline ran out Monday, August 15. It was the second extension granted to the consortium, but this time, according to government spokesperson Gabrielle St-Amand, the deadline must be “strictly” respected.

The cash infusion from the government’s loan would allow the consortium, led by Balcorp Ltd., to complete an expansion of the Jeffery asbestos mine, which has operated in the town of Asbestos, Quebec for more than 130 years. A loan guarantee could help keep the mine open for another 25 years.

Canada is the world’s fifth largest exporter of chrysotile asbestos, with the Jeffery and Thetford minds in Quebec accounting for the majority of production. The country produced more than 150,000 tons of asbestos in 2009, and the vast majority was exported, primarily to developing nations such as India.

Once a commonly used building material, asbestos use is now strictly prohibited and even banned in a number of countries. In Canada, the material is not banned, but has strict regulations under the Hazardous Products Act and the Environmental Protection Act. A number of public health advocates and others have repeatedly criticized the Canadian government’s attempts to re-open the Jeffrey asbestos mine, calling it “immoral” to export a cancer-causing material to other countries for profit.

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