Mining rebound attracts environmental firm to Thunder Bay: Ottawa's BluMetric Environmental establishing second Northern Ontario office.

Author:Ross, Ian

Optimism and opportunity in northwestern Ontario's mining sector has prompted an Ottawa-based environmental firm to set up shop in Thunder Bay.

BluMetric Environmental chose the first week of April to reveal at the Ontario Prospectors Exploration Showcase that it's opening a Thunder Bay office to better cater to a new client and scout for project work.

The multi-faceted environmental solutions company just landed a care-and-maintenance job at a closed mine site, about an hour's drive west of Thunder Bay. Work began on April 1.

Tim Beckenham, BluMetric's senior director of consulting services, said establishing a northwest office just made sense to support this "fairly large project."

Without disclosing the client or the property location, he said the mine has been closed for quite a while. The site had been remediated about 12 to 15 years ago. The care and maintenance stage of the job is relatively simple. Still, it represents the first contract of its type for BluMetric.

The company is taking care of all the site supervision, labour, material, equipment, and services for five years. That includes regular inspection of structures and facilities, maintaining the tailings pond and onsite pumping facilities, and environmental monitoring, among other duties.

For BluMetric, the business prospects in the region these days--especially to work with junior mining firms--are too good to ignore.

"We see a lot happening in the northwest," a carryover from the brimming optimism they experienced at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada mining show in Toronto this spring, said Beckenham.

"Mining's obviously picking up. You see that at various conferences and the mood is good.

"We see existing operations (to support) in that area and we've already got some small projects on the go with them, also with some juniors in helping them through feasibility (stage) and moving projects to the operational phase. In short, with existing operations and potential for new mines coming on, we'd like to be part of that."

Hydrogeology has been the company's bread and butter work since 1976, but they also do dewatering, water and wastewater treatment, environmental impact assessments, environmental permitting, mine closure plans, and occupational health and safety.

The company is to out to provide cradle-to-grave services in the mining life cycle.

"We've seen involvement in all phases of the lifecycle of the mine and that's what's exciting about some of the...

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