Good afternoon - my name is Bill Rothwell. I am, as Past President, representing Shawano Ratepayers Incorporated, a not for profit Ontario corporation representing owners of property on Dickey Lake, Lake of Islands, Lost Lake and Perch Lake. We are opposed to the exploration and ultimate mining of nickel, cobalt and copper within the township of Limerick. This proposed development, while situated in Limerick Township, has neighbouring townships that will be directly affected. These include Wollaston onTownshipon the west side of Old Hastings Road, Marmora and LakeTownshipwhich issouth-west side of Old Hastings Road and North Steenburg Lake Road where the properties we represent are located, and many others that could potentially be affected.
There are areas of concern that surface based on Pancon’sapparent lack of knowledge of the area. In interviews they have said their knowledge of the water flow is incomplete, but they do know that Nicholson creek flows into Dickey Lake - they claim there are no farms in the area.
In spite ofPancon’s statement that Limerick Township “has little farming in the area,” the adjacent townships and within a few kilometers of the site certainly do have farms. We would like to point out that in fact Nicholson Creek runs through the Nicholson Family farms before it reaches Dickey Lake. To the west of the Nicholson farm there are several other working farms that could be affected by this development. Nicholson Creek does run into Dickey Lake, which is attached to Lake of Islands, which is attached to Freen Lake, which is attached to rivers and streams that eventually reach the Trent River system, which impacts major cities and towns from Peterborough to Campbellford to Trenton and eventually Lake Ontario.
If this development is allowed to proceed our area known for its clean air, clean water and abundant wildlife will be compromised. Dickey Lake is one of a very small number of self-sustaining lakes. The lake is not “stocked.” The lake trout, perch and bass are all natural to the lake. The lake also provides drinking water to a large number of residents and tests confirm that it is drinkable with little added purification. We want to keep it that way.
Thus far we do not believe that Panconhas shown the respect and empathy for the communities in the area - in fact their web site does not even mention the communities of SteenburgLake and Shawano. Their web site is misleading investors and others with regard to the real tenancy of lands in the area. We are concerned about both the short- and long-term effect of this proposed project. We need assurance that Panconhas the resources to handle and comply with any and all regulations that are in place for mining projects like this. We are concerned about toxic material and about tailing ponds which, in other jurisdictions, have regularly failed. We are concerned about the fallout of Pancon’s potential failure to protect the environment and the resultant contamination of lake water, wells etc. The drilling is to reach several hundred feet into the ground. How will that affect groundwater and wells in the area? Is there an environmental assessment completed or to be completed that addresses these issues? Wells in our area reach a depth of over 140 feet before they get proper results. Will an environmental assessment allow those relying on wells and lake water to be satisfied that there are no potential risks? To quote Pancon’s principles of honesty, transparency, accountability, empathy, respect and trust, will they provide the community with all existing water studies and all future studies as they become available?