Ontario Graphite addresses Kearney councils environmental concerns

KEARNEY – Ontario Graphite Ltd. has instituted several new measures to ensure better protection of the environment after a temporary lapse in water treatment resulted in acidic runoff entering the Magnetawan River system near Algonquin Park.

Company CEO Tom Burkett, who toured the site on Oct. 28, guarantees Ontario Graphite has taken the necessary precautions to ensure the “hiccup” in their water treatment process won’t happen again.

Water used in the mining process runs through a tailings pond into a polishing pond where it is treated by a lime slurry to reverse the acid levels and bring the pH level to an acceptable range of between 6.5 and 8.5. A pH of 7 is considered neutral.

In December of 2015 all lime treatment and the required monitoring at the facility ceased as the company was in a “cash crunch,” according to Burkett.

“An investment came in in January. We got lime immediately and started the process of liming and treating the water and that has carried through to today,” said Burkett, during a presentation to Kearney Council on Oct. 28.

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