Today marks the first day that Nova Scotia mining companies can apply for fuel tax rebates for fuel consumed at mines, quarries and pits.
“Getting the rebate is a tremendous win for Nova Scotia’s mining industry and a clear indication of the government’s support of our industry,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS). “This policy change sends a signal to the global mining industry that Nova Scotia is open for business and wants the jobs and investment that mining can bring to the province.”
Provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for public roads and highways by charging the vehicle owners who use them. The Nova Scotia government gives other resource industries a tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats, farm tractors and forestry harvesters. Nova Scotia has excluded the mining and quarrying industry from the rebate since the 1980s, even though most of the industry’s vehicles also do not use public roads.
The fuel tax rebate will save producers 15.5 cents per litre of gas and 15.4 cents per litre of diesel consumed on mine, quarry and pit sites. The total savings are estimated to be $1.6 million this year.
The provincial government’s fall 2017 budget extended the rebate to the mining and quarrying industry and recent regulatory changes make this the first week that companies are able to actually submit rebate applications.
“The provincial government’s support of the industry contributed to a banner year for mining in Nova Scotia in 2017,” said Kirby. “Three major new mines opened, representing hundreds of new jobs for Nova Scotians and hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment in the province. Policy decisions like the fuel tax rebate, the excellent 2016 overhaul of the Mineral Resources Act and the recently-established Mineral Resources Development Fund have helped make this success possible.”
Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry employs 5500 Nova Scotians and generates $420 million per year in economic activity.