The owner of one of Canada’s two remaining asbestos mines announced that he has found an investor to help fund an underground expansion of the 131 year-old site. The Jeffrey asbestos mine (as it stands today in open-pit form) has nearly exhausted the supply of chrysotile asbestos, but a new underground section could keep the mine in operation for another 25-30 years. Mining operations were stopped recently as the mine was under bankruptcy protection, but the new funds should see it resume in the near future.
Bernard Coulombe, Jeffrey’s majority owner, “would not identify the companies involved in the consortium, though he did say some were from India, where there is a hungry market for asbestos,” according to The Montreal Gazette. Today, asbestos is rarely used in the industrialized world due to its well-known role in causing the lung cancer mesothelioma. It is still widely used in developing countries to reinforce cement and other building materials. The Canadian asbestos industry has come under intense criticism in recent months for exporting a known cancer-causing mineral, while abandoning its use at home. Asbestos mining has all but ceased in the United States because of its links to mesothelioma and other asbtos-related lung cancers.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos cancer and are currently undergoing treatment, contact a mesothelioma lawyer for help pursuing a lawsuit against a company or former employer that may be to blame for the asbestos exposure that led to the disease’s development.