The Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) would like to remind all cottage owners on Limerick and St. Ola Lakes that you have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming Limerick Township Municipal election for Reeve (the 4 new council members have already been nominated and acclaimed, no election for those seats will be held). You should receive in the mail a voting packet from the township, which includes instructions and procedures for online voting. If you have not received this information packet, please reach out and contact the township office directly (613-474-2863), Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, to confirm your eligibility to vote and procedures for voting.
The stakes for this election could not be any higher as we face two significant issues related to potential development in our township. One is the longstanding Trident / Limerick Estates subdivision development, the other is the proposed “Pancon-Mcbride” Nickel, Copper and Cobalt metal mining project proposed and in exploration phase. Both of these can have significant impact on our quality of life and recreational use of these lakes.
Because of this, we, the LWRA Board of Directors, endorse and recommend a vote for Michael Douglas-Hecker for Reeve. Michael has multigenerational ties to the area, and has a longstanding and deep appreciation for the history of the Trident-Limerick Estates Development, having been present on Limerick Lake as a cottager since the inception of the original idea in the 1970’s. We are convinced that as Reeve, he will ensure that any development at that site is conducted precisely in compliance with the agreed and existing special district zoning By-Law (Limerick Township By-Law 2010-18) covering the Subdivision Agreement and related documents. As a long time cottager in the area, Mr. Douglas-Hecker is also aware of the incompatibility of a heavy duty mining and industrial land use with the significant recreational use resources of the township; and we believe he will use the resources of the township to influence those in the other branches of government (such as: Hastings County Land Use Planning, Crowe Valley Conservation Authority, and the Provincial and Federal governmental Ministries) who oversee and do permitting that allow mining, or have environmental protection responsibilities.
Please take the time and effort to vote in this important election. Michael Douglas-Hecker needs your support, and we need him as our advocate on the Limerick Township Council as Reeve.
Signed and passed September 23, 2018 by the LWRA Board of Directors at annual Fall meeting.
by Jan McKillican
Following is a recap of the meeting recently held in the Limerick Community Centre on Hwy 620 to consider the proposed nickel-cobalt-copper mine.
The meeting was attended by well over a 100 people. Many lakes in the area were represented including: Wollaston, Dickey, Sweets, Steenburg and Limerick. Tempers were high and the first hour-and-a-half were largely unproductive. Most of the attendees opposed the mine. In the end, Pancon did share a high level business plan. It was clear the Pancon CEO thought communication to this point had been better than it really was, e.g. land owners being unaware that their property would be staked, First Nations support (they had not been contacted), etc.. There is a local group led by “Monica Nikopoulos, a nearby landowner on #62, that was driving protest actions, e.g. picketing.
A presentation was also made by Ugo LaPointe who works for Mining Watch Canada – a government organization dedicated to ensuring mines are environmentally safe, writing legislation to manage mines, etc.. Key points to consider from his excellent presentation:
Summary Report on the McBride Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Exploration Project in Limerick Township, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada
A project of Hastings Highlands Resources (HHR) & Pancontinental Resources Corp (PUC)
Joan Kuyek (PhD) & Ugo Lapointe (B.Sc.H.) for MiningWatch Canada September 2018
This brief report was prepared at the request of concerned community members and the Limerick Area Conservation Coalition. The purpose of the report is to look at key financial, environmental and technical risks regarding a nickel-copper-cobalt exploration project being undertaken by Hastings Highlands Resources ltd (HHR) and Pancontinental Resources Corporation (PUC) at its McBride Project in the Township of Limerick, near Bancroft, Ontario, in the headwaters of the Crowe Valley Watershed Conservation Area. A review of publicly available information reveals several serious technical, environmental, and financial risks for both the public and investors in this project:
owners bring significant additional risks and need further investigation.
However, the current President and CEO of PUC is linked with mining projects in Asia that have a history of social and environmental problems, poor relations with some civic organizations and affected community members, as well as tax avoidance issues in Canada.
1. The Project
The claim area is south of Bancroft, just west of Hwy 62 and south of road 620 to Coe Hill, in the Beaver Creek watershed, which eventually flows into the Crowe River and then into Lake Ontario. It comprises 880 hectares.
This area was originally explored by Macassa Mines in the early 1960s, then Long Lac Mines, then Limerick Mines Ltd (LML), then Hastings Highlands Resources (HHR), controlled by Derek McBride. Pancontinental Resources (PUC) signed a three stage earn-in option agreement with HHR for the project in April 2018 to undertake the exploration and work necessary to produce a scoping study by year four, and a full feasibility study by year six (see below for more details on this option agreement).
There have been two technical reports on the project to date: one by Micon in 2004, and another by Robert Chataway in 2015, which did no actual exploration and relied on the historic drilling (a total of 106 holes) and other exploration activities undertaken by Macassa and Long Lac. Chataway makes it clear that he also relied on information given him by Derek McBride.
Exploration by these companies has indicated that there appears to be a U-shaped ultra-mafic deposit (created by volcanic activity) containing some amounts of low-grade nickel, copper and cobalt in sulphide minerals, although its depth and extent has not yet been established, nor its economic viability.1 The resource defined by this work is considered a “historic” resource, and must be further explored through extensive, systemic drilling and costing studies, etc. before any assumptions about its economic worth can be made. But if the current historic resources grading less that 0.8% Ni, 0.05% Co and 0.3% Cu were to be mined,2 they would generate over 5 million tons of mine wastes, most of it potentially acid generating due the sulphide minerals.
Although the most recent two companies (PUC & HHR) call it an “advanced” exploration project, it is still pretty early stages—but it could move into advance stages if PUC fully implement the option agreement terms. Pancon has now contracted P&E Mining consultants to undertake the first phase of the option agreement to up-date resource estimates and making them NI43-101 compliant with the Canadian Securities Commissions. 3
2. Environmental and Social Risks
The McBride project is in the headwaters of Beaver Creek and of the Crowe Valley Watershed Conservation Area. This is a sensitive area, home to numerous wetlands, lakes and rivers, and providing essential habitat to many species of fish, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, including several threatened and endangered species. It is also an area that provides drinking water, is substantially populated by full time residents and cottagers, and offers recreational and tourism opportunities to thousands of Ontarians each year. The project is facing significant concerns and opposition by local and regional community members, including First Nation members. In July 2018, PUC hired Jeanny So Consulting, a small firm, to handle company communications with the local communities and governments, and to attempt to get a social licence to operate.
This sulphide deposit would clearly be acid-generating if extracted, and an advanced exploration project and/or a mine– will produce significant amounts (millions of tons) of tailings and waste rock and dust which are very likely to pollute lands and waters in the local area and downstream over the long term. One option for PUC-HHR would be to truck the ore to another milling facility in Ontario. But this option would still leave important volumes of potentially acid generating waste rocks onsite. Traffic will increase on the country roads and the mine and mill will draw on the existing power supply. Any jobs the mine or mill may create are likely to be filled by experienced miners or specialized workers from other mining areas in Ontario or Canada, but not—or very little—by local residents and cottagers. Mining facilities cannot be taxed by municipalities in Ontario (or very little).
As with any metal mining operations, one of the main technical, financial and environmental challenge is to contain the mine waste in perpetuity, ensuring that pollution never leaks into surficial or underground waters, and that the project is not subject to a catastrophic spill or other major environmental accidents. Zero risk does not exist and there are over a dozen mining spills reported in Canada over the last decade, including the Mount Polley mine spill in BC in 2014.
Although the project will require some permits for exploration, water-taking, waste discharges, closure plans, and other potential activities of the company, Ontario remains the only province in Canada that does not require a comprehensive environmental impact assessment for mining projects. The federal government may require an Environmental Assessment for mines with an ore production capacity over 3000 tones per day4, and for mines that affect Indigenous peoples.
The Auditor General of Ontario (AGO) denounced the lack of mandatory environmental impact assessments in Ontario in its 2016 report: “The Act is 40 years old— and is, in fact, the oldest environmental assessment legislation in Canada — it falls short of achieving its intended purpose […] Ontario’s environmental assessment process needs to be modernized and aligned with best practices in Canada and internationally.”5 The AGO adds: “These projects—such as mining operations…—proceed without an up-front evaluation of the environmental impacts of the project. Such impacts can be extensive and can affect Ontarians for many years. For example, as of March 31, 2015, the government identified that it had a liability of $1.2 billion to clean up 47 contaminated sites that were caused by mining in Ontario over the years.“6
With an official government estimate of $3.1 billion in liability for both active and abandoned mines, a 300% increase over 10 years,7 MiningWatch reports that Ontario ranks first in Canada as having the biggest environmental liability in the mining sector.8 Meanwhile, both MiningWatch and the Auditor General note that Ontario generated less than 1.3 billion in mine royalties over the same period, and is offering one of the lowest—if not the lowest—effective tax rate in Canada (less than 6%).9
In a 2017 follow-up report,10 the AGO notes that Ontario still did not fully implement about 2/3 (66%) of its 2015 & 2016 recommendations, including:
It is crucially important that affected communities and Indigenous governments ensure that the onus of proving the project will have limited impacts on them falls on the company at the earliest possible point in the mining sequence. It is best to say ”no” until (and if) the company can prove itself to the affected peoples. Yet, at the end of the day, affected communities will need to take a position as whether, or not, to support a mining project based on fundamental trade-offs between potential benefits and inevitable impacts, and by asking: “Are the potential benefits worth the risks and impacts? And are there alternative conservation, or socio-economic projects that we should be supporting instead in this area?”.
3. Mining Regulations & Community Rights
Although Ontario operates under a ‘free entry’ mining system, which typically gives little legal discretion to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) to stop mining projects at the exploration stage without facing costly litigations by the affected mining companies (which may be inevitable in certain situations), there are some specific provisions of the Ontario Mining Act and associated regulations that MNDM could invoke to deny, suspend or revoke permits, or require much stricter conditions. Below is a summary of MNDM’s powers, as well as of mining proponents’ general obligations at the exploration stage.
Subsurface mineral rights and claims
When recording new mining claims (now with an online system), which provides subsurface mineral rights to its holder, mining proponents must give written notice to surface owners within 60 days of having registered the new claims, otherwise the claim is invalid, unless MNDM waives this obligation due to impossibility to reach the surface owner (Mining Act, s.46). McBride’s project is constituted of a mixed of unpatented mining claims for which this obligation applies, and of patented (historic) mining rights belonging to a third party (e.g. surface owner) with whom HHR need to reach a contractual agreement to access.
For exploration works that surpass a certain thresholds, or if required by MNDM at any time, mining proponents must obtain an Exploration Permit, which allows MNDM to require stricter conditions, or to deny, suspend or revoke the permits if conditions are not met, or in case of non-compliance. Thresholds that trigger a required Exploration Permit include: Mechanized drilling, Mechanized surface stripping of over 100 square meters within a 200-metre radius; Line cutting, where the width of the lines cut is 1.5 metres or more; Pitting and trenching that removes more than 3 cubic metres of material within a 200-metre radius.14
MNDM can deny granting a permit, or impose any conditions, considering: (i) the purpose of the Act, (ii) Aboriginal consultation issues, (iii) arrangements with surface rights owners. MNDM can also amend a permit at anytime considering the same issues, or require at anytime a permit for any exploration activities under an Exploration Plan ‘to address issues pertaining to (i) existing or asserted Aboriginal or treaty rights, or (ii) potential adverse impacts on surface rights interests, public health and safety and the environment (s.78.3). MNDM can suspend or revoke a permit if conditions are not respected (s.78.5). MNDM may also determine that surface owners or land occupants (not necessarily owners) are entitled to compensation for damages resulting from any prospecting, exploration and mining activities (s.79).
Advanced exploration & closure plan
The above conditions do not apply for an Exploration Plan or an Exploration Permit if conducted on ‘patented’ mineral rights, which constitutes a portion (not all) of the McBride’s project area. Nevertheless, no matter what type of mining tenure is held, a mining proponent must meet additional requirements before engaging in advanced exploration, including filing a certified closure plan and financial assurance with the MNDM, give a notice to the public, and engage in consultation with affected First Nations before submitting a closure plan. Advanced exploration works include:15
o Exploration carried out underground or involving the reopening of underground mine workings; o Exploration that may alter, destroy, remove or impair any existing rehabilitated mining sites;
o Excavation of material in excess of 1,000 tonnes and surface stripping greater than 10,000 square metres or cubic metres within 500 metres, or of 2,500 square metres or cubic metres within 100 metres of a body of water.
At times, the MNDM, or another relevant ministry, under different legislations, such as the Ministry of Environment, with the support of the government, may take action to deny permit and face potential litigations, which may or not result in a costly settlement with the affected companies. Known mining settlements at the exploration stage in Canada have ranged from 5 to 60 million dollars, with an average of 5-10 million. A recent court decision (Eebatmatoong First Nation) did quash an early exploration permit because of inadequate consultation with a First Nation in Ontario.16 Future developments of this case are pending.
4. Ownership of the claims and mineral rights
Since 2001-2, Derek McBride, a geologist, has been assembling the claim package for the McBride property, through option agreements with local land-owners who hold mineral rights and through staking his own claims. On the McBride property mining lands, unlike most of Ontario, the mineral rights have not been severed from the surface rights. Most of the property is either “fee simple pioneer land grants”- which includes mineral, timber and surface rights, or “patented mining claims” – which include surface and mineral rights. The exceptions are claims SO 1192524 and SO 4209 871 which are mining claims only. It is not clear whether it is Hastings Highlands Resources Ltd or McBride himself who owns the interest in the mining claims.
According to the most recent reviewer of the property (Geologist Robert Chataway in 2015): “The property consists of five option agreements on 41 fifty acre half lots in the surveyed Limerick Township; this equates to approximately 880 hectares (Figure1). Land titles are Fee Simple Grants, Patented Mining Claims with surface and mineral rights or mineral rights only, plus staked claims. HHR has put the land
package together through a number of agreements with the land owners of the patented lands and in the case of crown lands these have been staked by HHR personnel. The parties to the agreements are detailed in Table 1 (below)”.17 The map below indicates the property and the ownership of claims within it (from the Limerick Mines MIC 2004, page 16).
The table below sets out ownership of the HHR holdings (from Chataway)
Under the terms of the agreements, the property owners were to receive shares in Limerick Mines Limited when it became a publicly traded company and some advance payments on royalties, in return for McBride undertaking a “an evaluation of the mineral potential of the properties and an agreement to provide financing for their exploration and exploitation”18.
Limerick Mines Limited (LML) became a private company and ceased to report on the Securities Exchanges website SEDAR in April 2006, and no information is available about what subsequently happened to these agreements. By this time, McBride was no longer a director of LML and was involved in a lawsuit with LML. Although McBride’s interest in the claims appear to have been briefly held by Limerick Mines Ltd, a Superior Court lawsuit decided on April 25, 200519 to return the claims to “their original owners” (McBride and others). We could not find the actual decision in the Superior Court of Ontario files.20
According to the Limerick Mines Ltd Management Information Circular of 2004 (and the Micon Report), the agreements with patent and surface owners included:
agreement dated March 2002 with Derek McBride and Lawrence Hobbs provided that they would share the benefits of any future operations. The Limerick Mines Limited Financial Statements for 2005 stated that, subsequent to the statements, and the Superior court decision, Limerick signed an agreement with these property owners transferring the mineral rights to Limerick in exchange for $250,000 and a NSR of 2% if the property were brought into production. There is no publicly available evidence that these properties were transferred to HHR or Derek McBride, as McBride was no longer a director of LML by this time.
We do not know what the content of these agreements are, if they are still valid today, and what relevant information the owners had when they first signed them.
5. The Companies: Hastings Highlands & Pan Continental
Hastings Highlands Resources appears to be a private company, owned and controlled by Derek McBride and other directors (it is not listed publicly on SEDAR). Pancontinental Resources Corporation is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (Venture). Its trading symbol is PUC. Its head office and registration are in British Columbia. Address: 301-260 West Esplanade, North Vancouver, British Columbia, V7M 3G7.
Pancon (as it likes to call itself) started out as Maya Gold in 1997, became Centram Exploration, then Pancontinental Uranium, the Pan Continental Gold, and, on July 12, 2018, Pancontinental Resources Corporation. PUC currently has two 100% owned subsidiaries: Maya Gold Corporation (Honduras) and Palmetto Mining Corporation. It has only recently acquired exploration properties in Canada. It has three exploration properties adjacent to an older Glencore mining camp in Timmins and one in North Carolina.
Some directors of PUC have been involved with mines in Asia and in the Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongolia, as well as with some gold and uranium prospects in Australia. They do not appear to have experience in Canada, nor with nickel deposits. The companies involved in the Oyu Tolgoi Mine in Mongalia have a history of social and environmental problems, poor relations with some civic organizations and affected community members, as well as tax avoidance issues in Canada.21
Pancon is a junior mining company with no producing mines. As at June 30, 2018, the Company has: an accumulated deficit of $22,719,217 (December 31, 2017 – $21,646,398); a working capital surplus of $767,535 (December 31, 2017 – $369,589 deficit); and, incurred losses for the current six month period of $1,072,819 (June 30, 2017 – $763,389). 22 It has 139,500,200 shares issued and outstanding.23 As of September 5, 2018, they were trading at eight cents a share and worth less than 10 millions in market capitalization.
PUC is financed by the sale of its shares. Most of these shares have been sold through “private placements” and flow through shares, which enable investors to use exploration and development expenses to write down their own taxes.24 Says PUC: “Further funds will be required for the Company to continue as a going concern and fund its activities. The Company has not produced revenues from its
exploration activities and does not have a regular source of cash flow. There can be no assurance that the Company will be able to obtain sufficient financing in the future or at favourable terms.”25
The companies seek to extract nickel, copper, cobalt, and also think there might be platinum, palladium, etc. Limited drilling to date has shown the first three minerals, but there was not money to conduct assays for other metals at the time. Two reports: Micon (2004) and Robert Chataway (2015) have reviewed earlier exploration results. Pancon has now contracted P&E Mining consultants to undertakeaNI43-101resourceestimate.26 TheongoingHHR-PUCOptionAgreementistoundertake the following:
The terms of the option agreement are described as follows by PUC in their MD&A for June 2018:
On April 25, 2018, the Company entered into an option agreement with Hastings Highlands Resources Limited (the “Optionor”), pursuant to which the Company obtained the right (the “Option”) to acquire a 76% interest in the McBride Project. The Option may be exercised in three stages as follows:
a) First Option – to earn an initial 26% interest, the Company shall:
b) Second Option – to earn an additional 25% interest, the Company shall during the second, third and fourth years of the Option:
In the event that the Company fails to exercise the Second Option then the initial 26% interest earned by the Company pursuant to the First Option shall revert to the Optionor. Upon the exercise of the Third Option the Company and Optionor shall form a joint venture and all costs and revenues shall be shared on a proportionate basis. The Company’s interest in the McBride Project may be increased to 90% provided the Optionor elects not to participate or fund its interest in the joint venture.
The McBride Project is subject to a 1.75% net smelter return (NSR) royalty. The Company reserves the right to purchase, prior to production, 0.75% of the NSR royalty (such that the remaining NSR royalty is reduced to 1%) for $1,000,000.
The management team for the McBride project is headed by Derek McBride, and includes PUC directors Layton Croft and Mark McMurdie as well as Kevin Filo who has worked with PUC in the past, which biography are included in appendix.
Appendix – Key directors:
Mr. Thomas Layton Croft (From Bloomberg executive biography) is Chief Executive Officer and President at Pancontinental Gold Corporation. He served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Social Responsibility (Mongolia) at Oyu Tolgoi. Mr. Croft had responsibility for communications, social performance and stakeholder engagement for the Oyu Tolgoi project. He is a senior corporate executive with diversified management and extensive Mongolia focused resource industry expertise with more than 12 years in senior roles with several Mongolia and Asia focused companies, including SouthGobi Energy Resources, as Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Citizenship (Hong Kong), where he oversaw investor and public relations, government affairs and corporate social responsibility; The Asia Foundation as Resident Representative (Mongolia); and Peabody Energy, as Vice President of External Relations – Asia (Singapore). Having lived and worked in Mongolia for a total of 15 years beginning in 1994, Mr. Croft has deep knowledge of the Mongolia corporate, political and socio-cultural environments. He played a central role in strengthening relational and reputational elements of the companies he has worked with in Mongolia and the Asia-Pacific region, including success in building and protecting the social and political licences to operate at national, regional and local levels. He worked internationally for more than 22 years in corporate and public- sector roles in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He has been Non Executive Independent Director of Erdene Resource Development Corporation since July 2, 2015. Mr. Croft holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA from the School for International Training in Vermont and an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Massachusetts.
Derek McBride (from Linked in)
Derek McBride has spent the last 40 years as a consultant to the international mineral industry. During that time he has discovered two mines for his clients. His work has taken him to 17 different countries and he has managed major exploration projects in seven of them. This experience has covered glaciated, desert and tropical terrains.
His early research work he was involved the lithogeochemistry of porphyry copper and the structure and stratigraphy of volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits. In recent years, his efforts have concentrated on gold and silver deposits. He has published numerous papers on mineral deposits and is a qualified person for NI 43- 101.
He is coauthoring a book, in press, from Elsevier (2015) titled “The Metallogeny of Lode Gold Deposits: A Syngenetic Perspective” which is a detailed examination of gold deposits, their formation and deformation in the orogenic gold environment.
Recent clients include: Khan Resources Inc., ValGold Resources Ltd., Stroud Resources Ltd., Cline Mining Ltd., Union Glory Gold Ltd., and Les Resources Radisson Ltd. and Cream Minerals Ltd.
1 See Micon (2004) and Chataway (2015), page 22.
2 Pancontinental Resources states (http://www.pancongold.com/projects/McBride-Ni-Co-Cu-Project/default.aspx, consulted on Sept. 1st 2018):
“North Zone: 3.9 million tons grading 0.82% nickel, 0.054% cobalt and 0.25% copper; South Zone: 1.2 million tons, grading 0.30% nickel, 0.03% cobalt and 0.14% copper;
The foregoing Historical Resource estimates presented above were completed prior to the implementation of the NI 43-101 requirements; however, given the high quality of the historic work completed and the respective mining companies’ reputations and production history of the previous Project owners, Pancon believes the Historical Resource estimates to be both relevant and reliable.”
8 https://miningwatch.ca/news/2015/12/9/wake-call-ontario-ranks-worst-canada-environmental-liability-mine-sites and https://miningwatch.ca/sites/default/files/table-1-environmental-liability-of-mine-sites-on-qc-bc.jpg
10 http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en17/2017AR_v2_en_web.pdf. The AGO did note, however, progress
in the following areas:
development is still in line with the existing closure plan…;
11 Reg. 308/12, s.6
12 https://www.mndm.gov.on.ca/sites/default/files/exploration_plans_and_permits_table_aug24_2018.xlsx, see line 017 and Column F. 13 https://www.mndm.gov.on.ca/sites/default/files/exploration_plan_activities_e.pdf
14 Schedule 3 https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/120308
15 Reg. 240/00, s.3: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/000240
17 Chataway, page 4
18 Limerick Mines Limited MIC 2004
19 Limerick Mines Limited, Financial Statements for 2005, note 11.
21 See, for example, a 2016 report by Oyu Tolgoi [Mine] Watch, Bank Information Center, CEE Bankwatch Network and Accountability Counsel: https://bankwatch.org/press_release/water-disputes-persist-as-rio-tinto-pushes-ahead-with-second-oyu-tolgoi-mine, and a 2012 report by many of the same organizations: https://www.accountabilitycounsel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/A-Useless-Sham- OT-ESIA-Review.pdf. See also Toronto Star, Jan. 31 2018: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2018/01/31/the-canadian-company- behind-this-mongolian-mine-has-avoided-half-a-billion-dollars-in-taxes-report-alleges.html .See also, on some of PUC CEO history: http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2010/12/post-2
22 PUC Financial Statements, June 2018, page 6 23 Ibid, page 3.
24 PUC Financial Report
25 PUC Financial, page 6.
LWRA Members, supporters and all cottagers from the Limerick chain of lakes:
Please be aware that there is a public meeting scheduled for 4:00 PM on Sunday September 9, at the Limerick Township Community Centre (along Highway 620, between Highway 62 and Ormsby). This meeting is being held by Pancon, a mining exploration and development company, to advise the public about their current and ongoing plans for the mining claim that they own in Limerick Township. The claim sits inside the quadrant bounded by North Steenburg Lake Road, Highway 62, Highway 620, and Old Hastings Rd. Parts of this area include drainage into Steenburg Lake, which itself then drains into the Limerick chain of lakes (and eventually out the St. Ola Dam).
We believe that it is important for cottagers and seasonal residents to be present at the meeting in as large of numbers as possible to raise their concerns and issues, and the be sure that they are heard early in this process. It is expected that a number of elected officials (and candidates for office) or their representatives; from the Federal, Provincial and Municipal level will be in attendance in the room. A strong show of support from the cottager community would be greatly appreciated.
For some further perspective, here are links to two recently published pieces from local news sources; there was also a lengthy front page article (print only, not available online) in the Wednesday August 29, 2018 edition of the Bancroft Times.
Bancroft This Week article on proposed Limerick Mine http://www.bancroftthisweek.com/?p=9335&upm_export=pdf
Bellville Intelligencer article https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/battle-brewing-over-mine-south-of-bancroft
Your LWRA Directors.
The beautiful trophy finally came home for crew members Alan Coxwell, Nancy Harvey and Sam Coxwell in the 2017 Brian Cofell Memorial Sailboat Race. Since its creation in 2005 this trophy has been sheltered all but one year down on the Hannah’s Maintenance Point. The late Brian Cofell managed to take it over to the north shore one year after high winds blew his Hobie Cat over the finish line in first place.
The 2017 Race Recounted
by Alan Coxwell
In our annual August long-weekend sailboat race on Limerick Lake the first buoy you need to turn around is actually the two islands. Yes, I laid out that course many years ago much to the chagrin of some serious sailors but the fickle winds behind the islands always adds a touch of interesting uncertainty to the race. Sometimes you even get to chat with your competitors in peaceful waters.
The sailors that have snatched this race from our crew so many times were boom-to-boom with us as we headed through the very narrow cut behind the islands in 2017. Good-sized whitecaps were chasing us all the way to this point wing-on-wing.
We made the decision to tack first, risking getting becalmed in close to the island, but we had gained some ground by the time our arch rivals decided to give chase and we were soon heading out into the open waters of the lake again. As we were hit by strong gusts rolling down the length of the lake my crew of two and I were scampering up on the side of our Hunter 18. We managed to get her under control and headed for the buoy on the far side of the lake, about a mile away. With the sails set and our course a straight line I glanced back just in time to see our closest competitors get blown over as they emerged from behind the island. Even though it seems unsportsmanlike to cheer at such a turn of events we could not help ourselves. Had there been champagne aboard we might have popped it … but probably not, as that would be sure to jinx us.
They had turtled their boat so I knew we had a big opportunity to take a substantial lead. However, these guys and gals are serious racers who are usually out on Lake Ontario every Wednesday evening doing battle with members of their sailing club in Cobourg. Their friends, in a sleek red boat with Apple Turnover painted on its bow (upsidedown), slid around their swimming pals and were soon in hot pursuit. Apple Turnover has won the race several times over the last few years and so, had we had champagne, we would have left the cork in place.
It was a strange weather summer in this neck-of-the-woods in 2017 with rain a constant factor to consider in anything you were doing. I usually have all of my hay in the barn by mid-June but this year I did not even cut any until the first of August because it would just not stop raining! So, naturally the clouds opened up as we headed out to the middle of the lake. Totally drenched in ice-cold rain we were glad we at least had lifejackets to keep us warm. At one point we were betting whether it was going to start snowing. Then the Sun came out, the clouds drifted away and the wild wind went down to a wimper. Suddenly our lifejackets came off again as it became a very tropical, slow motion race with Apple Turnover intent on the chase.
By the time we turned the second buoy and headed for the starting line buoy we were almost in the doldrums. But there was another nasty black cloud just over the western treeline which held some hope for a second-round turnaround. As we crossed the starting line for the islands once again the wind began to pick up a bit but now it had changed direction and was gathering steam from the south. Apple Turnover was about 50 yards behind us as we slid into the complete calm behind the islands. There we sat, almost motionless while watching Apple Turnover, still out in the wind, close the gap down to maybe 10 yards. But they were now becalmed too and in slow motion we again slid up to the end of the island decision point. How soon should we tack? By the time our crew of three finally made a democratic call based on the very different wind direction this time around Apple Turnover had decided to risk the shortcut closer to the island. On our wider reach we picked up the wind as they struggled on the shorter route close to shore. Heading out into southerly whitecaps far enough to clear the island in one tack we watched as Apple Turnover caught the wind and Bang! down she went. But with no transom, and experienced racers, she was soon righted and emptied of water and on the chase yet again. Meanwhile their buddies in the Blue Bayou boat had been pulled into the island with some apparent difficulty and never rejoined the race after their initial turtling exercise.
Apple Turnover headed deeper into the bay where the south winds were picking up. She was obviously trying to get an angle where one run would take her to the buoy on the far side of the lake. We soon realized we were not going to make it without tacking higher and as much as we did not want to we tacked and headed straight for Apple Turnover. After we had closed that head-on gap as much as we dared we turned again and headed for the far buoy. Apple Turnover soon did the same and the race was serious once again as Apple Turnover is a fast little boat with just two aboard. She was gaining ground. If we had misjudged and needed to tack again their strategy was going to deny us the trophy yet again.
That big black cloud from the western horizon had moved in by now and started to unleash its winds. The pace picked up and about half way to the buoy I turned to see if Apple Turnover was still gaining ground. She was not. Apple Turnover had lived up to her name and her sailors were scrambling back aboard yet again. They had not given up and we had not yet turned the buoy for the final leg home. Please Mother Nature … do not make us tack again!
Until you cross that finish line a sailing race is not over. A few years ago I remember a sailing buddy from across the lake sliding past me on the final stretch in very high winds. He had slowly disappeared behind my sails and then suddenly he was rapidly moving in the opposite direction past me with his mast lying in the water. Based on that experience I was taking nothing for granted this time until we finally crossed that finish line. And we did soon after. We had outrun Apple Turnover.
Every year is a different race and this one was very different indeed.
That was last year. The 2018 Brian Cofell Memorial Sailboat Race is just around the corner with a start time of 2 pm sharp on Sunday, August 5. The winners will get to keep the trophy in their cottage until the 2019 race. So, if you have any kind of a sailboat, or if a neighbour has one and needs an encouraging crew member, please feel free to join in the fun. I still have my old Albacore sailboat looking for someone to give it new life if you should be interested in adopting it! No gasoline necessary.