Claim could allow North America Stone to remove 10,000-ton bulk sample

The Ministry of Energy and Mines had an information session at Gallery 2 on July 5, after hearing about public concern over the possibility of two exploration projects.
North America Stone has applied for two exploration mining permits, one near Lynch Creek and the other by Granby River.
Residents who live near the site are worried about the damage that may occur to the surrounding environment, such as blockage of wildlife corridors and the impact on at-risk species, such as the red-listed clover and Peregrine falcons.
The information session included maps of the sites, notice of work application, and environmental and reclamation plans.
Al Ludwig, a mining consultant from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, pointed out that usually, the request for public involvement comes into play after a mining application is approved.
“The permit has not been approved yet and they indicated that they would be taking a much smaller sample to test the feasibility of it,” he said. “There are still several steps along the way.”
Ludwig explained that the mineral claim would allow North America Stone to remove up to a 10,000-ton bulk sample every five years.
“If the company goes beyond that, they have to apply for a mining lease and a mining lease will then give them the right to remove more than the bulk sample,” he added. “The development depends on the company and whether this bulk sample is their objective. If it does, they may go towards buying a lease and it becomes a quarry, rather than a mineral exploration quarry.”
Prior to the information session, Ludwig hiked up the hill to determine the situation and said that the site location is a several kilometres from the creek.
“There are still some outstanding issues that have to be addressed and if the company present those and no other technical concerns come up, they may start sometime within the next month,” he said.
Rick Mitchell, a surveyor from Discovery Consultants Ltd., who was the purveyor for North America Stone, stated that Discovery has worked before in Grand Forks for mining purposes.
“This permit is about taking a bulk sample to evaluate the property. Discovery came out, prospected North America Stone’s area and we picked the two sites that had the least fractured stones,” Mitchell explained. “If the rock is heavily fractured, even if you drill it in it doesn’t stay intact. We picked the locations that had the least amount of fracturing based on what we surveyed.”
Mitchell pointed out that the first step is to get the permit and then next is to get the contractors to see what’s best for North America Stone and most cost effective.
“We do have water management plans put into place,” he added.
“The south site has silk canvases, we’ll be putting fences and ditches in, and there’s already existing culverts that we’re going to protect. I do not see any impact to the water because everything will be contained. There isn’t going to be much silt produced.”
Silt is a granular material like sand that is produced during some mining processes. As well, Mitchell noted that the company would not be blasting any rocks in order to reduce the amount of stress fractures in the rock.
“The company will be using Crack It gel, which is a calcium-like cement that is poured into drill holes and fractures the stone within a matter of hours,” he said. “It isn’t hazardous to the environment, since it is reduced to a dust that contains natural elements.”
North America Stone Logistics Co-ordinator Rocky Sun from noted that the company does have several sites in British Columbia.
“We have applied for a permit to get some samples to see if it will be good for the market,” he explained. “It’s to see if the quality is good enough for the market before we apply for another permit for another duration.”
The sample, if it meets the company’s standards, would be used for marble.
“We will then send it back to China for polishing and processing for items such as countertops,” Sun said. “I don’t think there’s any secrets about the company. We just want to get a sample from the site to test whether it’s good or not.”
Ludwig noted that North America Stone has requested a qualified biologist to assess the site for any species, however, he pointed out that both permits haven’t been approved.
“There are still some outstanding issues that have to be addressed,” he said. “I would suggest that if anybody is concerned about the site that they hike up there and visit the site. The Lynch Creek site is a good location because it’s far enough away from anything, there are trees between them and there’s an access road already there. That’s considered a good location with good access compared to the other one because the other one there are some concerns.”

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