CP Wire March 3, 2000

Millions needed from province for mine site cleanup

DELORO, Ont. (CP) – A radioactive, chemically hazardous mine site on this village’s borders will cost up to $20 million of provincial money to clean up, say Ministry of Environment officials.As much as $14 million has already been spent remediating the site, assumed by the province in the early 1980s after almost two centuries of mining.

The village and its 160 residents are adjacent to the now closed

Deloro Mine site – a 200- hectare site that, over the past century, has seen gold extracted from its mines, smelting and even nuclear waste treatment on its grounds.

Efforts are under way to contain or remove radioactive material, poisonous chemicals and metals.

Ministry spokeswoman Barbara Theman confirmed Thursday that a four-day dig in December resulted in hundreds of cubic metres of radioactive slag being retrieved from nearby homes in Deloro, north of Belleville.

The problem remains, however, where to put the material that electronic testing reveals is as high as five times normal radiation levels that occur naturally.

The radiation from gamma rays in the slag, said ministry officials, is still within Health Canada limits.

Residents were alarmed when the excavation began as the ministry had earlier said at a public meeting in the summer of 1999 that the mine site was safe.

Theman said the active material will eventually be encased in containment cells to be built on the Deloro mine site.

“We’re in the process of coming up with a draft (plan) for the final stages of clean up.” (Belleville Intelligencer)