On December 18th, Nouveau Monde Graphite released a survey conducted by the firm Léger in which the majority of the population for its graphite mine project in Saint-Michel-des-Saints.
According to the survey conducted among residents of Haute-Matawinie, more than 83% of respondents give a positive score to the project and more than 90% believe that the economic benefits will be favorable for the region. The population still expresses, according to the survey, some environmental fears, while 48% of respondents consider possible negative impacts in the area.
Joined by L’Action, Eric Desaulniers, president and CEO of Nouveau Monde Graphite, said he was satisfied with the results of this study, which in his opinion are linked to the transparency of the company and the efforts made to limit environmental impacts. Despite these positive results, Mr. Desaulniers is aware that the project is not necessarily unanimous and that there are still concerns for many residents of the sector. Mr. Desaulniers calls on the opposition to participate in the project in order to improve it on the environmental level.
He also invites Ugo Lapointe of the Coalition pour que le Québec ait meilleure mine and opponents of the project to help him present a mine project with the highest possible standards in terms of the environment.
OPEN HOUSE DAY AT THE DEMONSTRATION PLANT
On Saturday, December 8, Nouveau Monde Graphite opened the doors of its demonstration plant as part of its environmental and social impact study. According to the company, more than 400 people participated in the event. The company organized guided tours of the demonstration plant with plant operators to present the graphite transformation process. This factory visit was full of memories for several residents of the region who worked there for many years before Lousiana Pacific closed its doors in 2007.
More than 40 opponents of the graphite mine project protested at Saint-Michel-des-Saints on the sidelines of this open house. The organizers of this meeting, the Coalition des opposants au projet minier en Haute-Matawinie, denounce the project and its environmental impact for the region.
Opponents also reacted to the results of the survey commissioned by the company. According to La Presse, for Daniel Tokatéloff of the Association pour la protection du Lac Taureau, the survey would be biased because it is mainly the residents of Saint-Michel-des-Saints who were questioned, while the whole region is concerned.