I wish to offer some comments pertaining to a recent article by Cassandra Chin entitled “Roxul Seeking to Drill in Phoenix Area” (Dec. 7 issue of Grand Forks Gazette).
As mentioned, the proposed drilling is to occur at the seasonally active Winner diorite pit, which is located on the road that runs from Phoenix to Granby’s former Lone Star Pit in Wash. State.
Roxul combines material from this source along with numerous other ingredients in the formulation of its stone wool insulation products.
The Grand Forks plant is one of only two located in Canada. Alternative sources of this type of intrusive diorite are available elsewhere but must be transported over greater distances and at greater cost to Roxul and therefore to their customers.
Some concern is expressed that trucking of the rock product on this road will adversely impact recreational values in the Phoenix area by virtue of extra wear and tear on the road for those who want access for hiking and biking trails, cross country skiing and other outdoor activities.
I wish to point out that the roads and access at Phoenix Mountain resulted primarily from mining projects that have been conducted intermittently over the years since 1900 and are largely responsible for the establishment of the communities of Greenwood and Grand Forks and for employment of their citizens.
We understand that the recently suspended Lexington-Grenoble mining project is in the process of resuming production, thereby contributing to local employment and the payment of taxes for road maintenance etc. Members of the Boundary Mining Association who are actively exploring claims in the Boundary District sincerely hope that additional viable mining operations will result from all the money that is currently been expended on exploration here.
If a Preliminary Economic Assessment of a project indicates a positive outcome, then the proponent must adhere to an extremely rigorous permitting process that involves all affected stakeholders, prior to receiving approval to proceed.
Recently, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Phoenix Alpine ski facilities. While I was mine superintendent at Granby’s Phoenix Copper operation in 1969-70, Granby provided the personnel and equipment to clear the hill.
Apart from grooming the hill, we surveyed in the towers, ran in the power lines and supplied the electricity to operate the facilities.
Interested citizens from Grand Forks and Greenwood formed the Phoenix Alpine Ski Club. The club purchased the Doppelmayr Tee-bar system from Switzerland and the Phoenix Mountain ski facility was born.
Some of us became members of the Canadian Ski Patrol and received excellent coaching from Dave Doumont.
I view the foregoing as an excellent example of how industry and communities come together for the mutual benefit of society.
Industry provides jobs and income and taxes that support local schools, medical facilities, and government bodies.
If performed in a responsible and environmentally acceptable manner, industry creates and sponsors recreational opportunities rather than hindering them.
– Submitted by John W. Jewitt, Boundary Mining Association