The old abandoned asbestos mine
The old abandoned asbestos mine

The old abandoned asbestos mine

The old abandoned asbestos mine

A walk in the white gold country

Région des Appalaches (Quebec), Canada

The use of asbestos by man does not date from yesterday. Already, more than 2000 years ago, the Greeks used in making funeral clothes. Its name comes from its property to withstand fire: άσβεστος (asbestos, meaning "indestructible").

Its many industrial uses will make it a popular ore when a lode will be discovered in the Thetford Mines area in 1876. Thenceforth, the agricultural landscape of the hinterland will be changed forever. In 100 years, Quebec will become the leader in this industry and will produce in 1976 more than 80% of all Canadian asbestos. The area then saw its golden age which ranks 2nd largest asbestos producers in the world, just behind the Soviet Union.

Five companies share the mining operations in the region. Slowly, the industry will strangle by the reports about its dangers and, in September 2012, after the refusal of the Quebec government to offer a subsidy to revive the last mine in the region still active, Abestos industry will end in the area.

In 1970, studies estimated that more than 3,000 products contain asbestos. Today, asbestos is found in all kinds of industrial and consumer products (brake blocks, asbestos cement pipes and even in children's toys). According to the Le Devoir newspaper website, between 2004 and 2014, Canada imported $ 250 million of products made with asbestos.

Despite the closure of the mine, there was plenty of activity on the site. A guard carries out patrols and the factory basement is used for recyclable bale storage (cardboard, plastic, metal, tires, etc.) from Lévis.

Related content

Mortal Kombat
Montréal, Quebec (Canada)

Located on the banks of the Canal Lachine, the old  Cie de recyclage de papier de Montréal inc. factory have been destroyed in part since 2009. Today, there are only the old building located behind the front store who is still there.

When...

Spexel, the Beauharnois abandoned plant
Beauharnois, Quebec (Canada)

It's over 92 years of industrial history that ended in 2004 when the Spexel factory was closed down. The story of this plant start in 1912 when is built the paper mill, which took the name of Howard Smith Paper Mill. Over the following years, the...

The Abandoned Aerodrome
Calzadilla de los Barros, (Spain)

Located a few kilometers from the municipality of Calzadilla de los Barros and its 850 inhabitants, the abandoned aerodrome dates from before the Spanish Civil War which took place from 1936 to 1939 with the victory of General Franco.

It...

The abandoned chemical plant
Eastern Townships, Quebec (Canada)

For several times I passed by this little factory located in an old industrial area in the Eastern Townships, but I never been inside. Each time, I wondered if it was still active or abandoned. I must say that several tiles were broken, but I was...