Nova Scotia pro-mining incentives called 'aggressive'

In an effort to stimulate mining exploration in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, the local government has started offering grants of up to $100,000 to mineral prospectors and exploration companies. But the move, welcomed by miners, is set to generate more rural conflict in Easter Canada, says local newspaper The Chronicle in its Sunday edition.

Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker said last week $700,000 had been set aside this year for companies to fund exploration and training. An announcement that The Chronicle Herald considers “aggressive”:

The government’s aggressive pro-mining stance is hurting at least one rural business and stirring community conflict over competing uses of our natural resources.

In Georgeville, Antigonish County, environmental approval for a tenfold expansion of the site of a rock quarry operated by Alva Construction Ltd. has prompted local residents to file a complaint with the provincial ombudsman, who has been asked to consider whether government has breached its own requirement for fair play.

A group of local residents claims the approval process was flawed and local real estate developer Steffen Mangold agrees.

The owner of Cape George Dream Estates Ltd. says he gained approval for a beachfront subdivision on the Northumberland Strait months before the government granted environmental approval for an expanded quarry on adjacent land.

Other projects in Nova Scotia’s mining pipeline include the proposed Donkin Export Coking Coal complex, currently under assessment. It comprises an underground coal mine, a power line and a barge load-out facility on Cape Breton Island.

The project is 75% owned by Xstrata Coal and 25% by Erdene Resource Development Corp. of Halifax.