Mining minister sides with Australian gold company in Moose River land dispute

Nova Scotia's Natural Resources Minister, Charlie Parker, is supporting DDV Gold Ltd., an Australian gold company, over a family run Christmas tree farm that doesn't want its land expropriated and turned into an open pit mine.

"This was a difficult decision to make, and while it may not be to everyone's liking, I am confident that it best serves the public interest," said Parker in a news release.

The Nova Scotia government says the deposit at Moose River Gold Mines contains about 635,000 ounces of gold worth $700 million. The project is expected to produce about 90,000 ounces of gold per year for five to seven years, and create about 150 jobs during operations and 300 construction jobs.

"In making this decision I gave careful consideration to a number of factors, including the substantial public interest in seeing this mine develop, the private interest of the surface land owners, and my authority and responsibilities under the Mineral Resources Act," said Parker.

Cleve Higgins, whose father runs the farm, is disappointed with the decision and told reporters he will appeal.

“This is exactly what we hoped the government wouldn’t do,” said Cleve Higgins in an interview with the Herald Business.

“This sets a dangerous precedent. It says to Nova Scotia land owners that a mining company can just come along and take away your land because it wants to.”

The family is asking for a judicial inquiry into Parker's decision and hope to apply for a injunction that would stop the mine.

Image of Christmas tree worker in Waterloo, Nova Scotia