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Minerals Play Fairway

In 2018 the board of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) decided to establish a new organization called the Minerals Research Association of Nova Scotia (MRANS), a not-for-profit to focus on research activities that will help the province’s mining and quarrying industry grow and create jobs, including managing our Minerals Play Fairway project.

MANS and MRANS are complementary organizations but have very different mandates so they both support the industry in different ways. MANS continues to focus on government relations and public relations/education, while MRANS’ focus is on seeking funding for, and facilitating, minerals-related research. 

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MRANS is a separate organization from MANS, with its own board, legally established under the Societies Act. However, MANS’ board is seeding MRANS by covering costs associated with its establishment and donating staff time to manage the new organization.

MRANS’ main initial focus is to manage the exploration phase of Minerals Play Fairway, a project we hope will lead to a best-in-class, government-funded geophysical database that helps attract investment and job creation to the province.

The first phase in the Minerals Play Fairway was conducting a needs assessment of the province’s publicly-held airborne geophysical data. The needs assessment identifies strengths and weaknesses in Nova Scotia’s minerals database and makes recommendations for how to improve it in order to attract more investment and job creation to the province. The provincial government’s Mineral Resources Development Fund provided $62,000 to conduct the needs assessment.

Phase two of Minerals Play Fairway is seeking government funding to implement the needs assessment’s recommendations, including a series of geophysical surveys across the province. 

Minerals Play Fairway is modelled on the highly successful Nova Scotia oil and gas Play Fairway Analysis.  In 2008, the Department of Energy commissioned a $15 million Play Fairway Analysis and geoscience data package program with the goal of stimulating offshore petroleum exploration activity.  The resulting data was made available for free to the global oil and gas industry and attracted over $2 billion in investment in Nova Scotia’s offshore. 

MRANS will play the equivalent role for the Minerals Play Fairway project that the Offshore Energy Research Association played in managing the oil and gas Play Fairway, i.e. managing the funds granted by government, hiring service providers to conduct the surveys, ensuring the results of the exploration program are designed to maximize their potential to help attract investment from the global mining industry, assisting in marketing the free data to the global mining industry and being held accountable by government for the results of the project.

MRANS is also working to foster other minerals-related research in Nova Scotia.

The partnership between the mining industry and the Government of Nova Scotia has been very successful in recent years. New mines, exciting new exploration and excellent provincial policy decisions, such as the fuel tax rebate, Mineral Resources Act overhaul and the establishment of the Mineral Resources Development Fund, combined to make 2017 a turnaround year for the industry.

We believe Minerals Play Fairway is an opportunity to continue to build on this success and the industry/government partnership that has already accomplished so much.