06/11/2013 04:37 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Public hearings begin for proposed northern Quebec mine

The Provincial Review Committee (COMEX) in Quebec will hold a public consultation Tuesday night on BlackRock Metals Inc.'s proposed mine in Oujé-Bougoumou, Que.

The Montreal-based BlackRock company wants to open an open-pit iron and vanadium mine near the community.

BlackRock has given a number of presentations about the project in the community since the beginning of 2013. With the many projects and developments in Eeyou-Istchee, or Cree territory in Quebec, all parties are obliged to consult the people of the territory first.

The goal of the meeting Tuesday evening is to hear people's concerns about the project.

"The people's main concerns are usually about the environment, the protection of the fish in the lake, the animals. They don't want the mine to destroy or affect wildlife," said Norman Wapachee, the community relations officer for the Oujé-Bougoumou band.

The open pit mine would be located 65 kilometres east by road from the community, around the Oujé-Bougoumou Lake.

The mine could open this fall or early spring if everything is approved.

The meeting will be held at the band council at 7 p.m. local time. Another public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday in Chibougamau, Que., which is about 30 kilometres southeast of the proposed site.