A labor dispute, along with continued debate regarding the asbestos industry as a whole, may force the only fully operational asbestos mine in Canada to close its doors.
The Quebec-based LAB Chrysotile announced this week that it may have to shut down operations at its Thetford Mines in the city of Asbestos if a labor conflict with the workers’ union cannot be resolved.
“There are personnel problems, there are mining problems, there are all sorts of problems – it’s a business, there’s always something,” Mine President Simon Dupere told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview.
Despite the issues the mine is dealing with, Dupere added that he was still “very confident” that there was a market for chrysotile asbestos.
Dupere has set a November 13 deadline to either resolve the labor issues or close the mine down.
Because the Jeffrey Mine, which is also located in Asbestos, only functions for part of the year, the Thetford Mine is considered Canada’s only fully-operational mine.
In addition to its labor issues, the Thetford Mine is also dealing with a great deal of scrutiny as the Canadian asbestos industry continues to draw negative attention from around the world. The closing of the Thetford Mine would likely only increase the calls for Canada to do away with its asbestos mining industry altogether.
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