(Originally published in the May 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - "National Mining Week" special advertising feature)
New ventures on the horizon
The mining industry continues to be an anchor of Nova Scotia’s economy contributing $500 million to the provincial GDP and employing over 6,000 persons (both direct and indirect).
There are currently 13 active mining operations in Nova Scotia. Here’s a snapshot:
GOLD: Atlantic Gold NL continues to refine its mining plans for the most advanced gold mining project in the province with an approved environmental assessment and completion of a detailed feasibility study for the Touquoy deposit near Moose River, Halifax County. In August 2011 the company was granted a mining lease by the Nova Scotia minister of natural resources. Site preparation has begun and the company expects to be in production within 18 months. The Touquoy zone is a low-grade bulk-tonnage gold deposit. Expected production from the Touquoy deposit is 84,000 ounces per year with a total of 422,000 ounces of gold over a mine life of five years.
COAL: The Donkin Coal Alliance announced plans in early 2010 to produce coal at Donkin, Cape Breton County, for global markets. The Donkin coal project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment review by federal and provincial regulators, which could be completed by 2013. Pending receipt of regulatory approvals Donkin could be in production as soon as 2014. The operating life of the Donkin project is anticipated to be 30 years with expected annual production of 2.75 million tonnes of metallurgical and thermal coal.
LEAD-ZINC: The Scotia lead-zinc mine in Gays River was purchased in May 2011 by Vancouver-based Selwyn Resources. Selwyn has received an environmental assessment approval for a mine expansion which will result in a three to four year mine life. The company expects to start production in the next year. Anticipated production at the Scotia lead-zinc mine will be 28,300 tonnes of zinc in concentrate and 12,800 tonnes of lead in concentrate per year.
These three major projects have the potential to inject millions of dollars into the province and create 600 or more direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs in rural Nova Scotia.
By Diane Weber, P.Geo., liaison geologist with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources