Unearthing Justice: How to Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry – Book Launch

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Photo by Christopher Oldcorn

Last night, Joan Kuyek launched her new book called “Unearthing Justice: How to Protect Your Community from the Mining Industry.” About 70 people attended the event. The mining industry, Ring of Fire development, and the proposed Ferrochrome smelter in the Sault were discussed.  

The Master of Ceremonies was Sean Meades, NORDIK’s Director. Meades introduced Kuyek saying, “Joan Kuyek has over thirty years’ experience in analyzing the social, environmental and economic costs of mining, and working with communities to develop environmental assessments, cost-benefit agreements and stop unethical mining practices. We are very fortunate to have this opportunity to hear from one of Canada’s leading authorities on the economics of mining.”

During our interview before the event, Joan expressed extreme dismay at the money spent on the Ring of Fire. She said, “The federal and provincial governments have sunk over $57 million into a pipe-dream that isn’t feasible. The Ring of Fire is not likely to ever happen. However, people are getting rich over it.” As of 2016, the federal government spent $17 million and the Ontario government spent $40 million. “Money that could have gone to homes, healthcare, and other priorities,” declared Joan.

Joan stated, “If a big mining company such as Glencore thought the Ring of Fire was viable, they would invest immediately. The CEO of Noront Resources makes over $600 thousand per year and for what?” Noront Resources is a junior mining company without sufficient financial resources. 

Joan objects to the mining industry. Her research suggests that mining leaves an “enormous and long-term physical and social footprint” which is paid at great cost by individuals, communities and tax dollars. Joan called mining “a waste management industry.” Most mines last for 10-to-15 years but the waste lasts forever. 

Joan spent 12 years as a lecturer at Carleton University and five years at Queen’s University. She worked for ten years with Mining Watch Canada and now consults on her own. 

The event co-hosted by the NORDIK Institute, Clean North, the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, and Algoma’s Water Tower Inn.