Several voluntary rehabilitation measures were completed under the previous operator, Granada Gold Mine Inc. Many were in keeping with the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Matachewan First Nations’ that covered the exploration and development of the Castle cobalt silver property. The agreement outlined terms for each party on land governance that included a framework for an environmentally responsible approach to future exploration on traditional territories.
A central tenet of the MOU was to take whatever steps were required to ensure no wildlife would be disturbed. A good example of management’s commitment took place on the property in the spring of 2014 when the nest, pictured below, was discovered during exploration work. Activity continued in the area but great care was taken to ensure the nest was not disturbed. The eggs successfully hatched a few months later.
The Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines implemented voluntary rehabilitation provisions in November 2012 for companies and individuals not responsible for creating mine hazards on properties they now own or control. Companies can apply to undertake hazard rehabilitation work free of any liability with respect to any pre-existing environmental issues on a site. Granada Gold Mine Inc. on behalf of Canada Cobalt was one of the first companies to submit an application under this new Voluntary Rehabilitation program.
Since the historic Castle Silver mine property is a former producer, existing underground openings and surface structures had become hazards for individuals working on the property and for those using the area for recreational purposes. Granada Gold Mine Inc., the operator of the Castle cobalt silver mine property at that time, committed considerable human resources and funds rehabilitating known hazards on leased and staked ground in areas frequented for recreation, fishing and hunting.
Measures already taken include:
The back-filling of the historic Castle No. 1 shaft and the re-sloping the remaining muck piles was completed in November, 2014 with the screening completed in the fall of 2013. The commitment of management to environmental standards that exceed those required by law will continue to be an ongoing priority for the current Canada Cobalt management team.