Horne 5 project in jeopardy due to air quality? | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

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Horne 5 project at risk due to air quality? | Arsenic Rouyn-Noranda

Resources Falco is concerned that its Horne 5 project in Rouyn-Noranda may not proceed due to air quality.

The Horne 5 project could have a lifespan of 15 years, according to Falco Resources.

A Clean Air Regulation states that a project cannot be permitted if it is likely to add contaminants to the air. air which are already in a concentration higher than the standards in force.

Owner of the Horne 5 project, Falco Resources filed a brief as part of the Department of the Environment's consultations regarding the Horne Smelter.

Horne 5 is an underground mine project located under the site of the Horne Smelter, directly below the old Horne copper mine. The mine would cost over $1 billion and could create around 500 jobs.

The company specifies that it is a stakeholder in the air quality file, since the project is located nearby, that its copper concentrate must be treated at the Horne Smelter, but also by the presence of contaminants in the air.

Falco Resources points to Section 197 of the Clean Air Regulations (CAAR), which prohibits a project from being authorized if it is likely to to add contaminants in the air which are already present in a concentration higher than the standards in force.

However, arsenic and other metals (barium, copper, nickel and lead) are present in the ambient air of Rouyn-Noranda beyond the concentration allowed by the standards in force, indicates the company, which affirms that the ministry is currently postponing the analysis of its project, in particular for this reason.

Resources Falco specifies that according to its most recent models, its impact on air quality would be negligible. The company even believes that its filtration system would improve air quality in Rouyn-Noranda.

In the case of arsenic, the modeled contribution from the Horne 5 project is 50 g/year, while filtration equipment would capture 450 g/year, resulting in an overall decrease in contaminants in the ambient air, argues the company, which claims to have hired toxicology experts who confirm that the impact of the mine on health would be negligible in the medium and long term.

Falco Resources states in its brief that the presence of contaminants in the air beyond the standards in force limits the economic diversity of the region and hinders the progress of its industrial and technological development, while the region is bubbling with know-how and skills.

The company adds that ministerial authorization should aim to maximize contaminant emission reductions as quickly as possible.

Falco makes several recommendations in his brief, including the filing of an action plan, before the 2027 deadline, to achieve the standard of 3 nanograms per cubic meter in the air, the revision of boundaries of the transition zone to reduce citizen exposure, adding measurement stations, and sharing tracking data with the public in real time.

The stations weather in the Rouyn-Noranda region could be used, improved if necessary, and be accompanied by a dedicated research fund for the development of an artificial intelligence model based on weather data that would predict the risk of overshoot in order to to adjust, in real time, the activities accordingly, explains the company.

Falco Resources also mentions that the closure of the Horne Foundry is not desirable for its company and also because there would be impacts on the vitality of the region.

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