10/27/2012 04:17 EDT | Updated 12/27/2012 05:12 EST

Planned explosions shake town of Malartic

Two large planned explosions shook the town of Malartic, Que., on Saturday in effort to open up the local gold mine for better excavation.

A total of 940,000 tons of rock was blown up during two detonations. The first took place around 11 a.m. and lasted 15 seconds while the second explosion lasted 22 seconds.

Last week, Quebec's environment ministry approved the excavation of the open-air gold mine located about seven hours northwest of Montreal, despite concerns from citizens regarding the possible toxic nitrogen dioxide fumes released by such explosions.

Authorities waited for winds to blow away from the residential area, which lies near the site.

According to the mine, the event took place as planned and regulations were respected.

Another planned explosion also took place in April.

The mine was asked to complete a study before going ahead with the project.