Sudbury

Federal funding announced for research into climate change impact on abandoned mines

The federal government is spending money for research into the effects of climate change on abandoned mines.

$184,000 announced to look at climate change impact on abandoned mines

The federal government is spending money for research into the effects of climate change on abandoned mines.

Natural Resources parliamentary secretary and Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre made the announcement in Sudbury on Friday.

Sudbury-based Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation, or MIRARCO, will lead the research.

The research will focus on three mines, including one in northern Ontario, one in the Yukon and another in the Northwest Territories.

Al Douglas, the lead of the climate change adaptation division at MIRARCO, says the mine that will be looked at in Ontario is the Kamiskotia mine in Timmins.

"The Kamiskotia site is one that's had environmental challenges over the years," he said.

"[It's] a fairly big location and it has some different assets on site that are valuable for us to be looking at."

He says there have been problems with tailings from that mine leaking into watercourses.

"What we want to know is as climate is changing and as it continues to change, what are the risks associated that region … and how can we prioritize what those risks are and how can we address those within the remediation plan that exists for the site," he said.

Paul Lefebvre is the MP for Sudbury and the parliamentary secretary for the Minister of Natural Resources. (Kate Rutherford/CBC)

MP Paul Lefebvre says it's important to protect people who live near abandoned mine sites.

"Once we have that research and that data, we will be able to make much better informed decisions as to how climate change is affecting these abandoned mines and what the potential environmental risks are," he said.

"Once we know what those risks are, then we can say what investments need to be done to address those risks."

With files from Kate Rutherford

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