Additional Video: Extended Morning Live coverage of Wynne’s announcement: (Updated)An historic day today in Hamilton as the province announces $1 billion to fully fund light rail transit.Premier Kathleen Wynne came to McMaster University this morning where she made the announcement. The money will be used to fund 100 percent of the capital costs of building an LRT line. The rail line will run from McMaster University, east on Main and West on King, to the Queenston traffic circle.Wynne says construction on the new LRT will begin in 2019, and it will connect directly to the new West Harbour GO train station that will open this summer. She adds the province will continue talks with the city about extending the LRT line another three kilometres east to Eastgate Square.“Decades ago, government investments in ports, canals and railroads helped bring steeldtown into an era of industrial prosperity. Today we need infrastructure that drives Hamilton’s prosperity in the 21-st century economy, we need Hamilton to remain an important driver of our regional and provincial economy, and a place where people can continue to find more opportunity, and more security in life.”“Transit connects the people of Hamilton to each other and to people of the GTHA, So it’s my great pleasure to announce today the Ontario government will be providing up to $1 billion to fund the building of new light rail transit.”The president and CEO of Metrolinx, Bruce McCuaig says the company will work with the city to finalize plans and construction.“The most important thing we are going to be doing immediately is sitting down with the city of Hamilton to talk about things like negotiating a master agreement since we are going to be building this on city streets and we will have to work very very closely with the city and all the communities that abut those streets.”“We’ll need to finalize the planning design for the corridor, where the station locations are, the kind of service that we’ll see, and ultimately we are looking at procuring this going to the marketplace to get bidders to bid on the project in 2017 and to start construction in 2019. ”The province also announced plans to improve GO service and extend the GO Lakeshore West train service to a new stop at Centennial Parkway, which is expected to be completed by 2019.The funding is part of the Liberal government’s planned $30 billion, 10 year plan to invest in public transit and otherinfrastructure projects, with just over half the money dedicated to the Toronto-to-Hamilton corridor.Opinion’s always been divided over LRT, and today’s funding announcement will no doubt create more controversy. It depends on who you talk to and where they live.Most people downtown are excited about it. They think it will make their trip to and from work quicker. “I just came from the east end, and I was on the B-Line bus and it still took me 20 minutes on the bus. That’s supposed to be the fast bus, and it wasn’t that fast so, run through the whole city? That would be good.”“I am not sure what to make of it. Do we need LRT in the city? I am not sure. The bus system works pretty good as is.”“Absolutely not. Put a couple more buses on the rouets or whatever else, but born and raised in this city and we don’t need nothing like that.”But if you come to places like Waterdown, many don’t think it is a good idea. They think it will increase their taxes.“The LRT is a very big project for Hamilton and I am not quite sure that we are ready for it, as it’s only from downtown to possibly Eastgate.”This project will take years to build and that means years of construction delays and years of torn up roads and that could affect local businesses along Main and King Sts, but Hamilton mayor Fred Eisenberger says the city would do everything to make sure they are impacted as little as possible.“I don’t think it has been disrupted in every part of the corridor for 10 years. Whenever we do road reconstruction it has to happen, we know it has to happen. That’s a long-term benefit, so it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”“We will do everything possible to ensure that we are less disruptive as possible.”Ward 1 councillor Aidan Johnson calls it great news. “This is going to be an economic boom for the whole of Hamilton. The west will particularly benefit. We will connect McMaster to the downtown of the city.”
A constant call for reduced dust levels is another result of more rigorous environmental management requirements. Unfortunately, this just exacerbates the water situation (discussed in detail in the July issue of International Mining) calling, as it does, for greater use of water. In Chile, once again, where so many of the good examples of water management are to be found, La Coipa gold mine of Cia Minera Mantos de Oro, a subsidiary of Kinross Gold, has cut the amount of water used for dust control by nearly two thirds while simultaneously reducing dust emissions by more than half, with help from GE.As a result, the mine conserves some 12 million gallons (49.4 million litres) of water annually, reducing the impact in a highly water-stressed area. The company also reduced operating expenses by $54,000 and improved overall safety conditions. Located about 1,000 km north of Santiago and 140 km northeast of Copiapo, the open-pit mine sits in the Atacama Desert, one of the world’s driest. Mining is the major economic activity in the region, accounting for more than 83% of regional exports and nearly half of regional gross domestic product. While the region’s mining industry contributes significantly to Chile’s position as a leading mining nation, it also consumes 70% of the region’s water, so conservation is critical.“Our use of GE’s dust control solution has led to great operational and safety benefits and significant cost savings,” said Rolando Cubillos, Mine Operations Manager. “The reduction in water use has been significant, enabling us to positively contribute to water conservation efforts in the mining region of Atacama. We will continue to explore water re-use and conservation strategies as part of our commitment to the environment and our community.”GE has awarded La Coipa an ‘ecomagination’ Leadership Award to recognise its noteworthy reductions in water consumption and fugitive dust emissions, brought about with the help of a dust suppression strategy centred on GE’s DusTreat DC9112 organic binding agent.Watering dusty roads to suppress dust can be wasteful because it must be repeated frequently and it also can create slippery roads, which are a safety hazard. La Coipa’s problem roads are first graded and conditioned. Then, water trucks apply a solution of water and DusTreat DC9112. Once the product has cured, it renders road surfaces hard, dust-free and non-slippery for an extended period. On an ongoing basis, as trucks travel the roads and create new dust, and eventually spill dusty material on the surface, all that is necessary is a light watering to rejuvenate the product.The GE ecomagination Leadership Award is given to less than 0.1% of GE’s water and process technologies customers that demonstrate significant environmental and economical performance improvements, striking a balance among today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges. GE provides the industry with a complete set of water and process solutions to solve water challenges in mining applications, including dust control, pure water systems, BWRO/SWRO systems, process additives, cooling treatment, clarification and filtration, wastewater treatment, zero liquid discharge and boiler treatment.