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Uranium Mining in Haliburton Cottage Country

Posted by Lorac Saturday, 9 May 2009

I found out something really disturbing to those of us with cottages in Haliburton. The Haliburton and Bancroft areas are actively being staked and claimed for potential uranium mining and exploration!
Currently, roughly 17% of Monmouth township has been staked (approx. 8500 acres). This includes both private property and crown land. What really shook me up was that with out your knowledge your land could be staked!

In rural Ontario, many property owners hold only the surface rights and not the mineral rights to their land. This means a prospector (anyone who applies and pays the $25 license fee) could come on to your land without being required to notify you and claim the mineral rights. The mineral rights holder can then start exploring (this could include drilling, digging, stripping, building roads, etc.) on your land. They need only to provide 24 hours advance notice to the landowner before commencing exploration activities. Under the Ontario Mining Act, there is nothing the surface rights owner can do to stop this!
I checked this out, I went to the Ontario Mining Act and read it through and it is true.

This is a write up from Cottage Life magazine:

"Geologists first discovered uranium in Haliburton in 1922; work began on the initial mine, known as Bicroft, 31 years later. Three others soon followed. Between 1956 and 1982, almost 7,000 tonnes of uranium oxide, or “yellowcake,” was extracted from the four mines. Local people welcomed those mines, which brought hundreds of jobs to the poor, thinly populated area. The main centre, Bancroft, in next-door Hastings County, proudly proclaimed itself the “Mineral Capital of Canada.”

As the mines’ brief heyday ended in the mid-1960s, a cottage boom began. First in a trickle, then in a flood, city dwellers erected summer retreats on Haliburton’s 65 pristine lakes. The cottagers, in summer now vastly outnumbering the permanent population of about 16,000, came to escape work and industry and prized the area’s natural beauty. So the new mining companies—Bancroft Uranium of Scottsdale, Ariz., and El Niño Ventures and Abitibi Mining, both based in Vancouver—entered a radically altered landscape when, four years ago, with uranium prices soaring amid worldwide plans for nuclear power plants, they arrived to resurrect the industry."

Notice none of the mining companies are from Ontario. Who gives a crap if they destroy land, homes and pollute for thousands of years an area as long as it isn't in their backyard! Always the way.

"The tailings from uranium mining have a half life of a half million years. Since there is no ideal way of storing radioactive waste, the waste dumps will need to be managed by future generations in perpetuity to avoid environmental disaster. If we mine uranium now, we leave a colossal mess for future generations".

In the spring of 2007, when Roger Young’s friends Robin Simpson and Christine Atrill went hiking their picturesque 40 hectares they stumbled across claim stakes. Taking advantage of the “free entry” provision of Ontario’s Mining Act—similar to laws in every province and territory—a prospector had entered the private property, unannounced, and carved it into 16-hectare claim blocks.

I couldn't believe that! Not a word said to these folks. They go for a hike on their own land and find it sectioned off for mineral exploration! I would have entirely lost it!

There is now a campaign from cottagers to have the Mining Act Reviewed and changed for the protections of cottager rights.
The fuel for the campaign is Haliburton’s second identity, forged in the last half of the 20th century. The area is no longer either remote or wilderness. The lake-filled region boasts more than 14,000 recreational homes, and villages with city-size supermarkets, cute cafes, and weekend traffic jams dot the landscape. Despite a growing “quantification,” though, the area is a vacation gem, where many have made substantial financial and emotional investments.

We built our cottage in 1964. Our heart and souls live in the cottage country. We work hard to be able to go to the cottage and enjoy our time there and the relaxation. I don't want to hear the sounds of earth movers and stone crushers instead of the Loons!

Uranium exploration should be suspended in Ontario until its impact on health, the environment and aboriginal land rights is properly addressed, said a report released yesterday by the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium. Cottagers against Uranium Mining and Exploration. http://www.ccnr.org/bcma.html#pub


"
There is a good video at youtube as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv5RaqezHhQ



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Lorac
Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
I have lived in Georgetown for 31 years but have traveled around a great deal. I own my own business which takes a lot of my time but try to blog as much as possible! I love to take pictures, no training, just a love of photography. Enjoy the pics but please do not copy them.
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