Gold Mining in Nova Scotia

Reference Number

  Once again we are seeing media reports of enviornmentally sensitive projects such as the Marine Reserve in Country Harbour cancelled because of legacy pollution from abandoned gold mining sites ;  Montague Mines in Halifax County is still leaching  toxins a century after abandonment ; Goldenville is still creating enviornmental issues with mercury and arsenic sediment a century after closure; the Strachan Mine in Richmond County is responsible for sterile streams after 60 years of non production; the list goes on. The Auditor-General of Nova Scotia  has signalled that there is no inventory of the extent of abandoned mine sites in this province. The ability of our public oragns to manage and monitor mining activities is poor. This is no surprise as it comes from the same department which did nothing and allowed Westray to blow up allowing the mine mangement to escape any responsibility of any sort. Without radiacal reorganization the this department there is no evidence that it can mange or supervise this project.

     There  is an inherent long-term toxicity of the rock itself completely independent from the extraction process. These arsenic, cadmium and other toxic heavy metal rsidues cannot be mitigated by " modern" extraction methods as promoted  by the mining concerns and  uniformly represent  a toxic time bomb for all of the population of this province both human  and animal.   The Meguma Terrane has an unusually high degree of inherent aresenic which is made  bioavailable by the crushing process.   Given the sort -term horizons and irresponsibility for residues  and the lack of commitment by mining concerns to long term management of their derelict sites represents a seroius risk  the duration of which will last centuries..

    As to the arguement that we need royalties to keep our public services funded : mining royalties yielded less than 1% of the provincial budget over the last 10 years.  I would therefore suggest that the contribution to the public purse is meager compared to the medium and long term costs in terms of health,  of remediation,  and of destruction of  the municipal base and the enviornmental hazard. We need to think of the long term  ie decades to centuries .  The is no evidence of this perspective in the mine application . On behalf ot the vertebrates in this province, I would ask the committee to demonstrate that it has one and not support this project.

Submitted by
John Hamilton
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on a Revised Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement
Date Submitted
2021-12-17 - 12:00 PM
Date modified: