Media releases for Mining Association of Nova Scotia.

MINING DIFFERENTLY
Source: Atlantic Business Magazine
Published: December 4, 2013
Article by: Darren Campbell

"THIS WAS ONCE A BIG, BLACK HOLE," Sean Kirby says as we look at young children enjoying a small playground on a cloudless early August day in Westville, Nova Scotia. The playground is part of Acadia Park, a small piece of greenspace in the heart of Westville that also features picnic tables, a walking path and trees planted in the memory of families and residents of the area - all of which looks out onto a large field with grass waving in the light breeze.

Kirby, the executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, has set up a tour of Acadia Park and two other sites in this part of Pictou County to show what happens to mines in the province after the resources have been dug out of the ground. Acadia Park was once the site of open pit mining at Westville's Drummond Mine before it was reclaimed in the late 1990s.

As an employee of an organization dedicated to representing the mining companies operating in Nova Scotia, Kirby is predictably upbeat about the end result of the reclamation work that's been done in Westville. Still, it's hard to fault him for the enthusiasm. In an industry with a long history of mining now and worry about cleaning up after itself later, the work done at the old Drummond mine site shows an eyesore can be turned into an asset.

IT HASN'T ALWAYS BEEN THAT WAY, of course, and there is no getting around the fact that the process of extracting minerals out of the earth is dirty work. But the industry can also be an engine of economic growth. The Mining Association of Nova Scotia says the sector is responsible for 6,300 jobs and contributes $500 million to the provincial economy each year. Nationally, mining's economic impact is even greater. In 2009, 306,000 workers were employed in mineral extraction in Canada and the industry contributed $32 billion to the country's gross domestic product.

But the public is demanding more and more from the industry in terms of ensuring mined-out sites are either returned to some reasonable form of their pre-mined state or developed for uses that will benefit affected communities. "I think the requirements for reclamation have traditionally been to make the site stable, so it's not causing any negative impact to the environment when you leave," says Paul White, an engineer with Pioneer Coal Ltd. "But over the years it's evolved into more community involvement and trying to make it usable for the people in the community when we are done. The expectation for reclamation has grown significantly over the last 10 to 15 years."

White would know. Pioneer Coal, which is based in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, has become something of an expert on mine reclamation in the province. The company has been involved in a number of reclamation efforts - including the work done to turn the Drummond mine in Westville into Acadia Park and two other sites a stone's throw from the park: the Coalburn mine and the Stellarton coal mine, which is still in operation.

Stellarton offers a glimpse into the world of modern mine reclamation. Driving west on Highway 104, the mine is easy enough to spot on the drive - rising over the rest of its surroundings like an overgrown hill of black dirt. Just like the Drummond mine in Westville, this site is within town limits - rubbing shoulders with dozens of residential houses along MacGregor Avenue. On the east side of that road, between 45 and 50 workers extract coal from the site every day, which is used to feed Nova Scotia Power's coal plant in nearby Trenton. White says the mine will probably be in production for another four years before being shut down and reclaimed.

On the west side of MacGregor Avenue, Pioneer Coal's reclamation handiwork is on full display. A track and field facility and a water tank occupy a site where Pioneer once dug out tonnes of coal. It's a far cry from an aerial photo of the space taken in the mid-2000s before it was reclaimed. The photo shows a giant grey scar gouged out of a mostly green landscape. "I wasn't around at the time, but I think there was a bit of opposition to the mine with it being so close to the town," White says. "But overall, and you could speak to town officials about this as well, I think they are quite pleased with what has come of it."

That might not have been the outcome 20 or 30 years ago. However, greater public scrutiny of the industry's environmental performance, and legislation that spells out how reclamation should be done, have put this issue front and center for the mining industry. In Nova Scotia, all new mines, quarries and pits are required to post a reclamation bond of at least $2,500 per acre used and submit a rehabilitation plan that addresses things like surface contouring, drainage and re-vegetation of the site. Reclamation of the site must be completed within a year of the operation ending.

Still, treating affected communities as partners in the reclamation process is a crucial step in getting public buy-in and approval for proposed mines. That's especially true in Nova Scotia, which is Canada's second smallest province in terms of land area (55,284 square kilometres) and also its second-most densely populated province (17.28 people per square kilometre). Unlike popular mining jurisdictions such as Labrador and northern Ontario and Quebec that feature operating mines located on large swaths of uninhabited land, any mine proposed in Nova Scotia likely won't be far from residential property. And proposed mining activity usually raises concerns about how it will impact the quality of life in nearby communities.

Perhaps that is why the Nova Scotia Department of Environment's Guide for Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans lists public consultation as one of the four guiding principles of reclamation. "While respecting landowner prerogatives, surface coal mining activities should provide consideration to community priorities, needs and interests," the document states. "Reclamation projects can provide lasting benefits to local communities and interested stakeholders can provide important information for plans and decisions that determine reclamation objectives and final land use decisions."

PIONEER COAL'S White says that consultation is crucial in order for reclamation to be a success. Knowing what the community's expectations are well before the reclamation begins allows the company to plan its operations better. "The input always helps. In Stellarton, the town will end up with the land and we work closely with them and the town engineer to see if we are doing the things that have to be done to allow them to use the land better or bring it to a point where it is more usable. We try to incorporate our plans with theirs. If that happens early on it is relatively easy to do. It's a little more difficult if you don't have that communication and you do the reclamation and then they are looking for something a little different."

The Stellarton experience hasn't been like that so far. The town's mayor, Joe Gennoe, talks glowingly about their relationship with Pioneer Coal. Although the reclamation work that resulted in the building of the track and field facility and the water tank precedes Gennoe's time as mayor, the planning on what will become of the open pit mine on the east side of MacGregor Avenue is in full swing. Gennoe says a draft plan is in place for the site and he thinks Pioneer Coal's mine has been a plus for the community. "It's been good for the town and good for the county," Gennoe says.

Mine sites that were left to rot rather than be reclaimed have done a lot of damage to the industry's reputation over the years. While reclamation is a requirement of mining companies, they also realize reclamation - if it's done well - is good for business. "You build credibility when you do what you say you are going to do," White says. "People go into sites that have been done years ago and it's flat and somewhat barren land and sparsely vegetated. That can be avoided."

Reclamation can also help build acceptance for future mining developments, Kirby says. When a big black hole is turned into a park, or a track facility or a field filled with new wetlands and native vegetation, it can change public perceptions that the jobs and economic activity mines generate come at a great environmental cost. "People ask, 'Where are these reclaimed sites? We can't find them.' That's exactly the point," Kirby says.


WE GIVE BACK AFTER MINING IN AN AREA
Source: The New Glasgow News
Published: November 18, 2013

To the editor,

As part of recent Nova Scotia Mining Week activities (Nov. 12-15), the Mining Association of Nova Scotia launched a short video about how former mines and quarries are reclaimed so future generations continue to enjoy sites after operations are done.

The video, called "We Give Back," is available at www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca. It features footage shot at various sites across Nova Scotia, including Point Pleasant Park, which contains over 50 former quarries, and two sites in the New Glasgow area – the former Coalburn mine and the Pioneer Coal Athletics Field in Stellarton.

We also recently launched an online educational quiz called “Find the Mine,” which lets you guess which pictures in a series are of reclaimed mines and quarries, and which aren't. The quiz highlights that after mines and quarries have been reclaimed, it can be very difficult to tell that an operation was ever there.

We hope your readers will visit www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca to learn more about how the industry reduces its environmental impact while working on a site, and then reclaims it in ways that maximize its use for communities. What we take from the earth, we give back.

Sean Kirby, Executive Director
Mining Association of Nova Scotia


KIWANIS PARK'S DAYS OF A GRAVEL PIT REVISITED
"Often times people don't know just where these parks or green spaces came from"
Source: Truro Daily News
Published: October 20, 2013
By Monique Chiasson

TRURO, NS - Eugene Whidden looks at Kiwanis Park and can clearly visualize what it looked like years ago before it was transformed into the picturesque site it is today.

The 75-year-old Bible Hill resident has a deeper appreciation of the park thanks to his knowledge of the site's history, including how it used to be a gravel pit in the 1930s to help build Route 2. It was reclaimed in the 1950s by the Truro Kiwanis Club and then made into the public park.

Whidden showed the Truro Daily News a photo his family possesses of his grandfather's truck being used to help create the gravel pit in the park all those years ago. "I'm interested in it because of the picture (and) history," he said, adding he learned to drive in the same truck in a hayfield.

Whidden said there's been a "not-in-my-backyard" mentalitv over the years when it comes to neighbourhoods being used as quarries and pits "but they are necessary."

Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS), agreed. Kirby was at Kiwanis Park on Friday talking with the public about the importance of mining and how gravel and pit projects from the past, and future, have significant value.

"We need new quarries and pits all the time. We take from the ground materials we need to build things like homes, roads, schools and hospitals ... then pits and quarries go on to serve communities in other ways such as natural space, commercial and residential development and even this beautiful park." Kirby said. "Often times people don't know just where these parks or green spaces came from."

Another local example, said Kirby is Mountain Lee Road in North River. That area was built on a lake that was a pit beforehand. It was reclaimed in the 1990s and made into the neighbourhood.

MANS representatives have been touring throughout communities in Nova Scotia since the spring in a campaign called Not Your Grandfathers Mining Industry.


DUFFERIN MINE TO RESTART IN NOVA SCOTIA'S GOLD INDUSTRY
Source: Global News
Published: September 23, 2013
By Brett Ruskin

PORT DUFFERIN, N.S. – Nova Scotia’s gold mining industry has been dormant for more than a decade, but now it could be on the verge of a renaissance.

In six to eight months, a mine in Port Dufferin, near Sheet Harbour, could be producing gold bars.

“The Dufferin gold mine will be the first functioning Nova Scotia gold mine in about a dozen years, so it’s a very exciting time,” said Sean Kirby, executive director of the Nova Scotia Mining Association.

Exciting because it means new jobs for locals and added revenue for the government.

“We’re going to be hiring 60 to 70 employees and focusing on Nova Scotia,” said Doug Keating, the mine manager. “We do have the people — unfortunately they’ve moved away. Our focus is to bring them back.”

So far, about 14 workers are employed by the mine, operated by Ressources Appalaches.

“I was up in Sudbury for a while, travelling around Canada just to go to different jobs,” says Dwight Kouwenberg, originally from Wallace, N.S.

“Now this one’s close to home. Just 2 hours from home, so that’s a lot better.”

The mine shaft is a dark tunnel that disappears diagonally into the rock. It zigzags downward like a wheelchair ramp, intersecting apexes of quartz where gold is typically found.

Crushed rock is sent up to the surface to be processed. Three-quarters of the gold can be extracted using a gravity-based method — rocks tumble through a drum and gold is pinpointed by its weight. The remaining stone must be processed using biodegradable soap, which captures gold flecks in bubbles that are then skimmed off the top of a stone slurry.

Alain Hupé, president of Ressources Appalaches, says the company is very concerned with preserving the ecosystem around the mine.

He says workers are continuously monitoring groundwater levels. In addition, any water used by the mine is stored for a period of time before it’s released back into the ecosystem. This allows any sediment to settle and prevents nearby ponds from getting filled with silt.

Gold mining is as much about economics as it is geology — as part of the provincial approval process, Ressources Appalaches must show it has a plan to return the site back to the way it was before it arrived. It must also prove it has money set aside to execute that plan.

“The operating price of these mines range anywhere from $500 to $1,000 an ounce to produce,” said Keating. “So if the gold price is in that $500 to $600 range, there’s no margin of profit or cash flow.”

That’s why the mine closed in 2001. While it was being operated by a different company, the price of gold dropped to around $300 per ounce. It cost more to dig up the gold than could be recovered by selling it. It was the last gold mine to operate in Nova Scotia.

After some careful geological surveys and renewed confidence in the market, Ressources Appalaches purchased the land and various pieces of equipment in 2008 for $4 million.

“We’re identifying in the range of 200,000 ounces-plus, just in the small area we’ve drilled off,” said Keating. He’s hopeful the mine will produce up to one million ounces.

With the global market price now hovering near $1,300 per ounce of gold, the mine’s value is around $1 billion.

Nova Scotia stands to reap rewards from the gold extraction through business tax, income tax, royalties and employee spending.

“We will have a huge impact here on the economy in Nova Scotia,” said Keating.


BRIGHTON: CLEARER RESOURCE-MANAGEMENT FOCUS IS CRUCIAL
Source: The Chronicle-Herald
Published: August 30, 2013
By: Rachel Brighton

The provincial mining industry won a token prize this week while waiting for what it really wants: cheaper fuel.

Instead, the province launched a digital platform so prospectors can stake claims and pay fees online. Hardly cause for shouting "Eureka!"

But the government is treading carefully to meet the competing claims of the environmental and mining lobbies ahead of the election.

Environmentalists are celebrating the acquisition of significant tracts of land for conservation. They should also be glad that after years of delay, an independent review of hydraulic fracturing was announced this week to replace the internal one begun in 2011.

Lamenting the amount of land now tied up for conservation, mining lobbyists want something in return.

They have been consistently asking for the same tax rebates or exemptions for off-road fuel that apply to commercial fishing, farming, forestry and manufacturing.

Extending the same treatment to vehicles and machinery used in mines and quarries would amount to an annual subsidy of about $2.6 million, the industry figures.

The tax collected on gasoline and diesel oil is funnelled into public roads, but these trucks and excavators are generally limited to off-road use.

This issue is simply one of financial fairness, because such rebates and exemptions already apply to fishing boats, logging machines and tractors, for example.

It is surprising that government has not granted such relief already, especially now that it is in such a generous mood.

As of this week, however, the executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, Sean Kirby, said there was no indication that such aid would be coming down the pipe.

No doubt the government is wary of pushback from environmentalists in rural ridings. Their grievances include subsidies for large-scale aquaculture and a weak response so far on the contentious issue of hydraulic fracturing to extract gas from shale formations.

This week, Cape Breton University president David Wheeler was charged with leading an independent review of fracking.

In the meantime, 4.5 million litres of fracked well water is being held in storage in Debert while provincial and municipal regulators debate how to treat the tainted liquid that is too politically hot to handle.

Thus far, the provincial government has avoided dealing head-on with fracking and has shied away from straightforward tax reform for the mining sector.

Yet it was willing to blow scarce political capital on a personal property transaction between a minister and the Crown.

Natural Resources Minister Charlie Parker had wanted to enlarge his picturesque rural estate in Pictou County by purchasing a small strip of riverfront Crown land from his own department, contrary to normal policy.

He had the premier's support and only withdrew from the deal this week after public outcry and ridicule.

After letting such big issues as fuel tax and fracking languish on the table, it is remarkable that cabinet should find time to attend to such petty, personal interests of one of their own.

Better judgment, informed by science, sound planning and transparent decision-making are needed to manage our natural resources.


MINING ASSOCIATION GIVES TOUR OF NEW-LOOK PRINCE MINE SITE
Reclamation work expected to be complete within six months
Source: Cape Breton Post
Published: June 9, 2013
By: Greg McNeil

POINT ACONI — Lush, green fields and waterlands have replaced slag and coal dust in some areas around Prince Mine as work toward reclamation of the site approaches a conclusion.

An estimated 40 per cent of the former Devco property has been remediated as Pioneer Coal continues its progressive reclamation. The final 60 per cent of remediation should be completed within the next six months.

“When Pioneer took over, the site was full of sinkholes from bootleg mining,” said mine manager Mike Jessome during a tour organized by the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. “The bootleg pits went as deep as 80 feet down.”

The reclamation started from the farthest point of the site, which is now a scenic green field overlooking the entrance to the Bras d’Or Lake.

Small trees, shrubbery, grass — thicker in some spots than others — grows well beyond that space.

“Every year it gets thicker and thicker and becomes sod.”

The process began with a first cut into the property line and every other cut that followed was filled in with clay and soil taken from that first cut before being covered with hydroseed.

“You reclaim as you advance so at the end of the day we are still mining here and this much of the reclaim is already done.”

Another form of reclamation on the site has seen large slabs of green area sliced from one spot and placed at another.

“The beauty of it is that it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything,” said Sean Kirby, executive director of the mining association.

“The company funds its own way by doing the mining, by taking the coal out of the ground. That pays for the reclamation. Taxpayers aren’t on the hook here.”

The mining association organized the tour as part of efforts to highlight how the industry now uses technology to improve safety and reduce its environmental footprint.

At the Prince Mine site, 10 people are working in the final phases of the project, down from the 54 jobs at the peak of production. An important piece of equipment they are using is a continuous mining machine called NovaMiner 2000 that Pioneer built and patented.

The NovaMiner 2000 can mine coal up to 1,000 feet underground, making it unnecessary to remove the layers of rock, dirt and vegetation above.

The machine features a giant cutter and a series of conveyor belts that carry the coal out of the mine, without sending miners underground.

Kirby said a fair bit of mining still goes on in Nova Scotia, the majority for aggregates used in construction around the province, creating 6,000 jobs in Nova Scotia and generating a half a billion dollars per year in economic activity.

There are still active coal mine operations around the province, including one in Stellarton, and the association that acts as a voice for the industry hopes to see Donkin mine restarted.

“It is a safe, sustainable, responsible industry. It’s a temporary use of the land and then the companies fix up the land and return it to nature or prepare it for its next use so that the land continues to contribute to communities,” said Kirby.

The association recently launched a new educational website — www.notyourgrandfathersmining.ca — to explain how the industry works today, how it is regulated by the provincial government and its modern technology and environmental measures.


THE MINER IS THE MOST VALUABLE THING TO COME OUT OF A MINE
Source: The Chronicle-Herald
Published: May 8, 2013

The anniversary of the Westray mine disaster is a sad day for those of us who work in Nova Scotia's mining and quarrying industry. It is a poignant reminder that the most important thing to come out of a mine is the miner - that we have to make every effort to ensure the safety of our colleagues, friends and loved ones.

The Westray mine in Plymouth exploded at 5:20 a.m. on May 9, 1992, taking the lives of 26 miners. A public inquiry into the disaster led to significant changes in the way the industry is regulated and was a milestone in the establishment of a safety culture that has become a hallmark of the industry today.

Injury rates in the mining and quarrying industry have been reduced 90 per cent in the 15 years since the public inquiry issued its report, and our injury rates today are lower than those of other comparable industries. In fact, the industry's 2012 injury rate was 27 per cent below the average of all industries in the province.

Modern mining uses technology and knowledge to extract materials safely and ensure that our colleagues get home to their families each night. We work every day, in partnership with the provincial government, to make our workplaces safer. We are committed to continuous improvement in safety and while we are pleased to have reduced injury rates so dramatically in recent years, our goal is to have no injuries.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia recently launched a new website - www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca - that explains how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also doing a tour of current and former mine sites across the province to showcase the modern industry's safety and environmental track record - and to highlight that it is a very different industry than in the past.

The Westray inquiry report commented that "the industry is very close-knit with an interdependence, camaraderie, and fellowship that may be unique in modern-day business. And people in the industry, at all levels, regard what occurred at Westray as a personal matter affecting them as if it had happened in their own backyard. It is for them a family tragedy."

Our memorial to those 26 miners - members of our family - is our commitment to making sure a tragedy like Westray never happens again.


NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER'S MINING INDUSTRY
Source: Nova Scotia Business Journal
Published: May 7, 2013

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia recently launched a campaign to correct outdated perceptions about the industry.

A new educational web site – www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca - explains, in layman’s terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. MANS is also doing a tour of current and former mines/quarries across the province to showcase the modern industry’s safety and environmental track record.

"Today's mining and quarrying industry is a sophisticated, high tech business that is vital to our economy and way of life - and a very different industry than in the past," says Pat Mills, President of MANS. "We think people should dig a little deeper. This is not your grandfather's mining industry."

“No one would judge today’s auto industry by what it was like 50 years ago,” said Sean Kirby, MANS’ Executive Director. “So no one should judge mining by what it was like in the distant past either. Modern mining is a safe, environmentally-responsible industry that contributes to everything in our daily lives, from houses to electronics to food production. You can’t build things like homes, roads, schools and hospitals without the materials we take from the ground.”

Mining today is a sustainable industry that makes temporary use of land, and then reclaims it for other purposes, such as natural space, recreational areas and commercial and residential development. For example, Point Pleasant Park, one of Nova Scotia’s most beautiful natural spaces, contains over 50 former quarries, and shopping centre Dartmouth Crossing was built where several quarries used to operate. Reclamation, or preparing a mine or quarry site for its next use, is key to ensuring future generations will continue to enjoy an area after we have taken from the ground the materials that we need to support our modern society. Mining and quarrying companies are committed to minimizing our environmental impact while working on a site, and then to reclaiming it in ways that maximize its use for communities.

Modern mining is also very safe. Injury rates in the mining and quarrying industry have been reduced 90% in the last 15 years, and are lower than other comparable industries. In fact, the industry’s 2012 injury rate was 27% below the average of all industries in the province. We work every day, in partnership with the provincial government, to make our workplaces safer for our colleagues, friends and loved ones.

Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity for Nova Scotians. It provides thousands of jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province’s economy each year.

Dig a little deeper. Visit www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca to learn more.


Source/Published: New Glasgow News, April 23, 2013
Source/Published: Truro Daily News, April 19, 2013
Source/Published: Cape Breton Post, April 29, 2013

To the editor,

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia has launched a new educational website to explain, in layman’s terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government.

www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca highlights that modern mining is a safe, sustainable, responsible industry – and very different than in the past.

Mining and quarrying contribute to our daily lives, from houses to electronics to food production. You can’t build things like homes, roads, schools and hospitals without the materials we take from the ground.

Mining today is an environmentally responsible industry that makes temporary use of land, then reclaims it for other purposes, such as natural space, recreational areas and commercial and residential development. We are committed to minimizing environmental impact while working on a site, and then to reclaiming it in ways that maximize its use for communities.

Modern mining is also very safe. Injury rates in mining and quarrying have been reduced 90 per cent in the last 15 years, and are lower than other comparable industries.

Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity for Nova Scotians. It provides thousands of jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province’s economy each year.

Dig a little deeper. See www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca to learn more.


CBRM ASKS PROVINCE TO EXTEND FUEL TAX REBATE TO MINING COMPANIES
Source: Cape Breton Post
Published: March 21, 2013

SYDNEY - The Cape Breton Regional Municipality is lending its support to the mining industry in its attempt to convince the province to have mining and quarrying companies apply for the off-highway fuel tax rebate.

The Nova Scotia government gives the rebate to the fishing, farming and forestry industries for fuel used in vehicles that do not travel on public roads. It's the only province that does not extend the tax rebate to the mining industry.

A resolution brought forward by Dist. 3 Coun. Mae Rowe and passed by council calls for all natural resource industries to be treated equally, and for the CBRM to write a letter to Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald asking her to support the Mining Association of Nova Scotia's lobbying effort to be included in the tax rebate program.

Including the CBRM, there are 12 municipalities asking the province to review this policy. Victoria County is also supporting the association's effort.

"The provincial government should extend the fuel tax rebate to mining in the upcoming budget and help us create jobs in the rural areas that so desperately need support," Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, said in a release.

The cost to the province to include the mining industry in the fuel tax rebate is approximately $2.6 million a year.

It would apply to a range of vehicles that operate on mine sites, such as haul trucks and excavators, most of which never leave the mines and are not allowed to drive on public roads.


NEW GLASGOW SUPPORTS MINING ASSOCIATION'S FIGHT FOR FUEL TAX REBATES
Source: New Glasgow's The News
Published : March 12, 2013

New Glasgow has joined the chorus of nine other rural Nova Scotian towns that support the mining industry's fight to receive fuel tax rebates from the province.

Mayor Barrie MacMillan wrote a letter to the minister of finance on behalf of New Glasgow town council to express its support of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia's campaign "Fuel Tax Fairness."

"Your government provides a fuel tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads such as fishing boats, farm tractors and off-highway forestry vehicles, however, this rebate isn't provided for vehicles in the mining industry," MacMillan's letter stated. "Nova Scotia is the only province that does not provide a fuel tax rebate to the mining industry, resulting in other provinces having lower operating costs, which affects Nova Scotia's mineral exports."

Nine other towns have written to the minister of finance to ask that the rebate be extended to mining and quarrying. The municipalities are Truro, Amherst, Town of Antigonish, Antigonish County, Mulgrave, Guysborough, Pugwash, Victoria County and the District of Lunenburg.

"Municipal governments understand that mining is being treated unfairly and it is costing Nova Scotians jobs," Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia said. "The provincial government should extend the fuel tax rebate to mining in the upcoming budget and help us create jobs in the rural areas that so desperately need support."

The Mining Association launched its "Fuel Tax Fairness" campaign in October. The provincial 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 gives the rebate to fishing, farming and forestry industries, but does not give it to mining.

A statement from the Mining Association said including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per year and it would apply to vehicles that operate on mine sites, such as haul trucks and excavators, most of which never leave the mines and are not allowed to drive on public roads.

Nova Scotia's mining and quarrying industry provides 6,300 jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes $500 million to the province's economy each year. Mining is the highest-paying natural resource industry and one of the highest-paying of all industries in the province.


TRURO MAYOR OFFERS SUPPORT FOR FUEL TAX REBATE
Source: Truro Daily News
Published: March 11, 2013
By: Harry Sullivan

TRURO – Truro Mayor Bill Mills has added his name to a list of supporters calling for provincial fuel tax rebates for the mining and quarrying industry.

Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that does not apply the rebate to the mining and quarry industries,” Mills said, in his letter to Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald.

“These companies therefore have a more difficult time operating in Nova Scotia and this is costing our province jobs and potential investment.”

Sean Kirby, executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia, said in a news release that the support from Mills places Truro among 10 Nova Scotia municipalities that now have written to the finance minister to ask that the fuel tax rebate be extended to mining and quarrying.

“Municipal governments understand that mining is being treated unfairly and it is costing Nova Scotians jobs,” Kirby said. “The provincial government should extend the fuel tax rebate to mining in the upcoming budget and help us create jobs in the rural areas that so desperately need support.”

Other municipalities include New Glasgow, Amherst, the Town of Antigonish, Antigonish County, Mulgrave, Guysborough, Pugwash, Victoria County and the District of Lunenburg.

The mining association launched its ‘Fuel Tax Fairness’ campaign in October, in an effort to bring that group in line with other resource industries that receive a provincial tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads.

Other groups that do receive the rebate include fishing boats, farm tractors and forestry harvesters.

Kirby said the rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per year. Conversely, however, he said the industry provides 6,300 jobs, mostly in rural areas, while contributes $500 million to the province’s economy each year.

Without having the rebate in place, he said, puts those jobs at risk.

“Mining is the highest-paying natural resource industry and one of the highest-paying of all industries in the province.”


MINING BRINGS JOBS AND PROSPERITY
Source: The Chronicle-Herald "Resource Insights"
Published: March 11, 2013
By Sean Kirby

Nova Scotia's mining and quarrying industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity for Nova Scotians. It provides 6,300 jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes $500 million to the province's economy each year. Mining is the highest-paying natural resource industry and one of the highest-paying of all industries in the province.

The provincial government has made some important decisions in the past year to support the industry, including establishing a mineral incentive grant program to encourage prospecting and exploration, and modernizing the claims registry by making it an online process.

At the same time, Nova Scotia continues to have a poor image in the global mining industry as a place to invest because of other issues that we are working with the government to address.

First, Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that charges the industry tax for fuel used on mine sites. Nova Scotia gives a fuel tax rebate to other resource industries for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats and farm tractors, but is the only province that does not give the rebate to mining and quarrying. That is not fair, and it is costing Nova Scotians jobs by making it more expensive to operate in Nova Scotia and discouraging investment in the province. MANS is running a campaign for "Fuel Tax Fairness" to get the government to correct this unfair situation and help mining and quarrying companies reinvest and create jobs in rural areas.

Second, MANS is concerned that an inflexible regulatory regime around protecting land is creating tremendous uncertainty that will discourage mineral exploration and make it very difficult to attract investment to the province. Preventing exploration and development on land, regardless of what minerals may lie beneath and how important they are to our economy, will leave Nova Scotians without access to the minerals we need to support our way of life and economic prosperity in the future. Protecting natural lands for future generations is important, but so is ensuring that future generations have affordable access to the materials they will need to build homes, roads, hospitals and schools.

MANS believes there is a simple solution to this problem. A "land swap" mechanism should be added to the protected lands regulatory regime which would allow mining and quarrying companies to access protected land by purchasing land of equal size and ecological value outside of the protected areas and arranging for it to be protected instead. MANS believes this simple, pragmatic proposal would strike an appropriate balance that protects both natural lands and future economic opportunity for Nova Scotians.

Today's mining industry is a sophisticated, high tech business that is vital to our economy and way of life. With the government's support, we are confident that it will grow and create more jobs for Nova Scotians.


MINE COMPANIES PROTEST FUEL TAX
Source: The Chronicle-Herald
Published: February 25, 2013
By Dan Arsenault

Nova Scotia miners have had a beef with the taxman for a long time and will unveil a new part of their relief-seeking strategy today.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia will be giving media and the province's 52 MLAs signs that say, "Closed for Business," to protest the tax that mining companies pay for fuel.

According to MANS, Nova Scotia is the only province that taxes mining companies for fuel used on mine sites.

Although fuel-burning mining vehicles like excavators and haul trucks can't use provincial roadways, they have always been taxed for the fuel they burn.

Sean Kirby, executive director of MANS, said they tried, unsuccessfully, to quietly entice the government to lift that tax for years, but started a public campaign in the fall.

They've also bought newspaper advertisements and offered media tours of mine sites last fall.

"The signal that we're sending to the global mining industry is that Nova Scotia is closed," Kirby said.

"It's a long-standing issue that Nova Scotia is the only province in the country that charges the mining industry fuel tax."

"It's costing Nova Scotia jobs."

Lifting the tax would save mining companies $2.6 million annually, the group said.

With gypsum, limestone, salt, sand and other products, MANS said mining provides 6,300 jobs and $500 million to the province.

Opposition parties have shown support for the miners' argument and Kirby said the prospect of an election this year gives their argument more sway.

"It's something that we're going to continue at for as long as it takes," he said.


MINING INDUSTRY SEEKS BREAK ON PROVINCIAL FUEL TAX
Source: The Chronicle-Herald
Published: January 28, 2013

Nova Scotia's mining industry is taking its campaign to get the government to give it a break on the provincial fuel tax into the city.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia has been lobbying the Dexter government, arguing that it is entitled to the off-highway fuel tax rebate. Other industries such as the fishing and agriculture sectors, where boats and tractors are used, get fuel rebates because their vehicles don't operate on public roads.

Association members said their companies are being singled out.

The association is planning a news conference today at a National Gypsum wharf on Bedford Basin to make its point.

According to an association news release, gypsum is shipped to the wharf from Milford on CN trains.

From that wharf, gypsum is shipped to the United States on Canada Steamship Lines freighters. Both CN and Canada Steamship get a fuel rebate. However, the company that owns the bulldozer that moves the gypsum from the train to the ship gets no tax break.

"That's not fair," Pat Mills, the association's president and National Gypsum's mine manager, said in the release.

Nova Scotia is the only province that charges the mining and quarrying industry fuel tax.

About 75 per cent of the mining and quarrying companies that would benefit from the tax break are Nova Scotia-based and the five non-Nova Scotian producers have promised to "reinvest in this province the savings from the off-highway fuel tax rebate," the release said.


OUTLOOK 2013: MINING
Source: Nova Scotia Business Journal
Published: January 2013
By Sean Kirby, Executive Director, Mining Association of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity. It provides 6,300 jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes $500 million to the province’s economy each year.

The provincial government has made some important decisions in the past year to support the industry, including establishing a mineral incentive grant program to encourage prospecting and exploration, and modernizing the claims registry by making it an online process.

At the same time, Nova Scotia continues to have a poor image in the global mining industry as a place to invest because of other issues that we are working with the government to address.

First, Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada that charges the industry tax for fuel used on mine sites. Nova Scotia gives a fuel tax rebate to other resource industries for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats and farm tractors, but is the only province that does not give the rebate to mining. That is not fair, and it is discouraging investment in Nova Scotia’s mining industry.

Second, the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act sets the environment and the economy on equal footing in the growth and development of our economy. However, while there have been numerous goals set for the environment, there have been few specific economic goals set. The mining industry is urging the government to set specific economic goals and to always ensure an appropriate balance is struck.

Third, while the mining industry supports the overall intent to protect 12 per cent of Nova Scotia’s land by 2015, protecting land and removing it from exploration represents a serious loss of opportunity for individuals and companies that have secured claims, invested in exploration and had an expectation that they could progress toward mine development. We are asking the government to ensure existing claim holders are dealt with fairly and to put in place rules that allow important mineral deposits to be developed in the interest of all Nova Scotians while still fulfilling the 12 per cent goal.

Today’s mining industry is a sophisticated, high-tech business that is vital to our economy and way of life. With the government’s support, we are confident that it will grow and create more jobs for Nova Scotians.

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‘Treasure trove’ of mining facts

  • Mining and quarrying is Nova Scotia’s highest-paying natural resource industry and one of the highest paying of all industries in the province. The industry’s average wage is over $1,000 per week, 40 per cent higher than the average wages paid in all economic sectors. The industry's total payroll is $96 million per year.
  • A new mine or quarry operation provides a tremendous economic boost to a host community and the province. For example, a new aggregate quarry producing two million tonnes per year can generate 225 jobs during construction and 91 ongoing jobs during operations. A new quarry can also generate approximately $1.6 million in provincial taxes during construction and about $800,000 in taxes each year during operations.
  • Mining and quarrying is one of Nova Scotia’s leading export industries. The industry exports about one third of its production to the United States each year, or about $105 million worth of minerals.