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Warren and Union residents are mobilizing to fight a Canadian company's mining plans

Residents turned out at the Masonic Lodge in Union on Thursday March 9, 2023 to express concerns about mining exploration.
Susan Sharon
/
Maine Public
Residents turned out at the Masonic Lodge in Union on Thursday March 9, 2023 to express concerns about mining exploration.

Residents of the towns of Warren and Union are mobilizing to fight a Canadian company's plans to explore for possible mineral deposits of nickel, copper and cobalt in and around Crawford Pond because of the skyrocketing demand for minerals in renewable energy technology.

Last month, Exiro Mineral Corp briefed local select boards and residents to explain how they'll survey the area from the air using electromagnetic equipment. Since then, word about the project has spread. And on Thursday night, nearly 200 people turned out at the Masonic Lodge in Union to discuss how they might prevent the company from moving ahead.

"It's kind of scary because you know, I just recently retired and we've been working on our lake home for 17 years. We finally got it the way we want it," said Captain James Harkins, who has a home on Crawford Pond. "We've got a substantial financial investment and now we're looking at the possibility of a huge financial impact from this mining company with absolutely no recourse to us at all."

Tracy Hovance has a farm in Warren.

"Almost exclusively, it's a concern for our health and safety. Noise we can deal with. The looks of things, you can just not look at it, I guess. But when it comes down to even the exploration that they're proposing to do, that terrifies us quite a bit," Hovance said.

Exiro did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Residents successfully fought a similar mining proposal in the 1990s. This time, opponents are hoping to ban industrial scale mining through revised local ordinances that could be put before voters at upcoming town meetings.