Bloom Lake General Partner Limited pleaded guilty to 45 charges,
resulting from several incidents including the breach of a tailings
pond dam. The Bloom Lake mine site released large amounts of
water pollution (non-compliant mining effluent and ferric sulfate)
into fish-bearing water in Quebec, and failed to comply with an
Inspector's Direction. Bloom Lake is a subsidiary of Cliffs Natural Resources, which has since
pulled out of mining in Canada.
Of the $7.5 million, $6.83 million will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund, representing the
largest ever financial contribution to the Fund. The Fund uses
penalties imposed on those who cause environmental damage or harm
to wildlife to support local projects that benefit the natural
On September 7, 2011, Environment Canada began an investigation
into a number of infractions linked to the failure to take measures
as directed, after an Inspector's Direction was issued in 2010
for the Bloom Lake mine site. (Environment Canada used to have more
staff devoted to Fisheries enforcement.)
The investigation also covered other infractions over four
years, including a major breach of the Triangle Tailings Pond dam
and a separate release of 14,500 litres of ferric sulfate into
water frequented by fish. On a number of occasions, the company did
not inform the Department of releases and failed to take samples
and conduct analyses as required under the Metal Mining Effluent
The Triangle Tailings Pond Dam breach allowed water and mine
tailings to be released into the environment for almost seven days
until the breach was repaired. More than 200,000 cubic meters of
pollution (deleterious materials) were released into fish-bearing
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