With its scenic lakes, beaches and forests, the Petite-Nation area of Quebec's Outaouais region is a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors.
But residents now worry a graphite mine project near the towns of Duhamel and Lac-des-Plages, about 125 kilometres northeast of Ottawa, could affect their quality of life.
"The development of the region here is based on leisure, recreation and ecotourism," said Louis St-Hilaire, a spokesperson for the Regroupement de protection des lacs de la Petite-Nation, a coalition of seven local homeowners' associations.
"The mining industry and the outdoor industry aren't really compatible," he said in a French-language interview with Radio-Canada.
Surrey, B.C., company Lomiko Metals recently completed exploratory diamond drilling in a search for graphite, a mineral used by the electric vehicle industry, among others.
But St-Hilaire worries about the environmental consequences, as well as the impact on local traffic. He's also worried it could pave the way for other mining projects in the vicinity.
His group plans to lobby elected officials and enlist the help of other organizations to fight the project, he said.
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