Atlantic Minerals submits new plan to extend limestone quarry on Port au Port Peninsula
Quarry company promises to be better neighbour, extend Port au Port operation by 25 years
The company that operates the limestone quarry on the Port au Port Peninsula has submitted a new application to extend the life of its operation. And this time, Atlantic Minerals is promising to be a better neighbour with a much smaller footprint than originally planned.
Last year, the company quietly withdrew its first application for environmental approval after community leaders in the Lower Cove area raised objections about dust, noise and blasting. The provincial government also identified concerns about rare plants.
Quarry manager Jamie Goosney said that's when the company decided to go back to the drawing board.
"We realized that our original application wasn't comprehensive enough, so we withdrew it," he said.
"We withdrew the application so we could have time to sit down with our engineering firm and do this the right way."
Goosney said the new plan calls for a much smaller mine lease than last year's proposal, at just 140 hectares. The first application involved a lease of 754 hectares of Crown land.
He added that the company is spending more money on noise and dust suppression. It is also putting more effort into notifying neighbours when blasting is scheduled to happen.
"We now send out notices by email and by radio to local community leaders and anyone in the area, that we will be blasting at this date and this time," Goosney said.
If approved, the extension will keep 150 workers going for another 25 years.
Goosney said if refused, the mine will run out of raw material in five or six years.
The deadline for public comment on the proposal is June 16.