Nov 2 2010
A Canadian-led consortium of international investors has made a successful offer to buy 100% of Quebec's privately held Mine Jeffrey Inc.
All shareholders, including the workers' coop, have approved the offer. The parties hope to close the transaction by the end of the year and to resume work on the underground mining project.
Mine Jeffrey's modern facilities have an excellent reputation for safety. The open pit operation has been in business for more than 130 years.
The consortium, which includes investors from India, will finance the completion of an underground mine project initiated several years ago. This will enable the company to produce approximately 225,000 tons of chrysotile fibre annually, while certifying safe and responsible practices from cradle to grave.
The consortium has committed to provide a stable supply of its high-quality fibre—but only to large companies certified for safety and environmental responsibility. This will protect workers' health and safety, as well as strategic commodity requirements in Asia, the world's largest market for the product.
This investment will secure 500 jobs in Quebec for the next 25 years, in a region that is currently economically depressed; it will also maintain Canadian control over an important commodity.
According to Bernard Coulombe, President and Principal Shareholder of Mine Jeffrey, "The new investors will not be involved in the day-to-day running of the company, which will be entrusted to the existing management and workers."
Michael Vineberg, senior partner at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg and legal advisor to the investor consortium, said that "Mine Jeffrey will remain under Canadian control. The controlling interest in the consortium will be held by Canadian investors. They are looking forward to working with Monsieur Coulombe and current management."
Chrysotile fibre is currently used legally in Canada, the USA, and countries in South America and Asia.
Chrysotile fibre is used in developing countries predominantly to manufacture affordable and sturdy roofing sheets and pipes. A small percentage of chrysotile fibre is mixed with cement, thus binding the fibre. None of the fibre produced at Mine Jeffrey is used in loose form, as was the case in legacy environments, and as may still happen among smaller companies that would not qualify as buyers of Jeffrey's product.
Chrysotile fibre was first discovered in Quebec in 1876. There are currently two producers in the province.
Chrysotile fibre, previously known as asbestos, is classified as a hazardous product. However, like hundreds of other hazardous materials, it is used safely under controlled conditions around the world.
Source: MINE JEFFREY