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Canada’s Mining Industry Shuts Down

December 16, 2011 – The first shutdown of Canadian’s two asbestos mines in 130 years marked a historic moment for the country’s asbestos industry. The industry has been under increased scrutiny since researchers have linked asbestos to mesothelioma. As a result of the shutdowns, Canadian-produced asbestos is expected to disappear from the international market in the coming weeks. Because the mines have been shut down, the supply of asbestos they had on hand will quickly be depleted.

The future of the two Quebec mines, the Jeffrey mine in Asbestos and the Lac d’amiante du Canada mine in Thetford Mines located only 90 kilometers from each other, is uncertain.  The Jeffrey mine closed down as it awaits a bank-loan guarantee from the Quebec government to start digging a new underground mine. The Lac d’amiante du Canada closed due to operational problems, including labor, production and development issues.

Supporters of Canada’s asbestos industry are hopeful that digging will start again this spring. Prime Minister Harper supports Canada’s asbestos industry because the sale of asbestos is a legally-permitted business. Another government official strongly opposes the industry and recently brought a petition in front of the Parliament. It was signed by thousands of Canadian residents asking for the ban of asbestos and all its forms. The petition asked the Canadian government to stop all funding of asbestos, not only in Canada, but also abroad.  They also asked the government to stop blocking international health and safety rules designed to protect asbestos workers.

Asbestos causes more deaths in Canadian residents than all other industrial causes combined.

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