November 12, 2013
RECLAMATION IS THEME OF NOVA SCOTIA MINING WEEK
"What we take from the earth, we give back"

As Nova Scotia Mining Week kicks off, industry and government representatives are highlighting the industry's commitment to reclaiming former mine and quarry sites.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is releasing a one-minute video, called "We Give Back," to show how former mines and quarries are reclaimed so future generations continue to enjoy sites after operations are done.

The video is available at www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca/we-give-back and is being launched at Geology Matters, the province's biggest annual mining conference which is organized by the Department of Natural Resources. The video was funded by both the industry and DNR.

"Nova Scotia's mining and quarrying industry employs 5500 people, mostly in rural areas," said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill. "The industry contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province's economy each year. Our government is pleased to continue partnering with the industry, supporting their efforts to create jobs and a sustainable mining and quarrying sector."

"Mining and quarrying is an environmentally-responsible industry that makes temporary use of land, and then reclaims it for other purposes, such as natural space, recreational areas and development," said Pat Mills, President of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. "In fact, after mines and quarries have been reclaimed, it can be very difficult to tell that an operation was ever there. What we take from the earth, we give back."

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.

The provincial government requires that all new mines, quarries and pits post a reclamation bond - at least $2500 per acre used - and submit a rehabilitation plan that addresses key issues such as surface contouring, proper drainage and re-vegetation. This ensures that there is a proper plan in place, and funds available, to prepare former mines and quarries for their next use.

MANS recently launched a new educational web site - www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca - that explains, in layman's terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also touring current and former mines across the province to showcase the modern industry's safety and environmental track record.

October 29, 2013
MANS CHALLENGES MLAs TO "FIND THE MINE"
"It can be very difficult to tell that a mine or quarry was ever there"

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is challenging MLAs to take a new online quiz and see if they can tell where mines and quarries use to be.

"Mining and quarrying is an environmentally-responsible industry that makes temporary use of land, and then reclaims it for other purposes, such as natural space, recreational areas and development," said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of MANS. "In fact, after mines and quarries have been reclaimed, it can be very difficult to tell that an operation was ever there. We are challenging MLAs to take our Find the Mine quiz and see if they can guess which pictures are of reclaimed mines and quarries, and which aren't. It's harder than you think."

Each "Find the Mine" question features one picture of a reclaimed mine or quarry along with three pictures of sites that were not mines or quarries. Players have to guess which picture is of a reclaimed site.

Find the Mine is at: www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca/find-the-mine

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 their environmental impact while working on a site, and then to reclaiming it in ways that maximize its use for communities.

The provincial government requires that all new mines, quarries and pits post a reclamation bond - at least $2500 per acre used - and submit a rehabilitation plan that addresses key issues such as surface contouring, proper drainage and re-vegetation. This ensures that there is a proper plan in place, and funds available, to prepare former mines and quarries for their next use.

MANS recently launched a new educational web site - www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca - that explains, in layman's terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also touring current and former mines across the province to showcase the modern industry's safety and environmental track record.

October 20, 2013
MANS: FORMER PITS AND QUARRIES HIDDEN IN PLAIN VIEW
Truro park used to be a gravel pit

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is going for a walk in the park today - to highlight how former pits and quarries are often hidden in plain view.

MANS is holding a news conference at Kiwanis Park in Truro, a picturesque greenspace which was developed as a gravel pit in the 1930s to help build Route 2. Like a lot of former pits and quarries, the site has filled with water and become a natural oasis in the heart of the town. It was reclaimed in the 1950s by the Truro Kiwanis Club and today it contains a pond, fountain and walkways. Each spring, the Cobequid Salmon Association organizes a popular Fisherama at the park for kids, and the park now has so many ducks – as many as 600 to 800 in late fall – that the town asks residents not to feed them in order to help manage the population.

“Mining and quarrying is a temporary use of land,” said Sean Kirby, MANS’ Executive Director. “We take from the ground the materials we need to build things like homes, roads, schools and hospitals, and then pits and quarries go on to serve communities in other ways, such as natural space, commercial and residential developments and even this beautiful park. Kiwanis Park is a great example of how it is often impossible to tell that a pit or quarry ever existed on a site.”

MANS representatives will also be visiting a reclaimed sand and gravel pit at the intersection of Highway 311 and Mountain Lee Road in North River. The site was reclaimed in the late 1990s and today it is a beautiful lakefront residential neighbourhood.

The provincial government requires that all new mines, quarries and pits post a reclamation bond – at least $2500 per acre used - and submit a rehabilitation plan that addresses key issues such as surface contouring, proper drainage and re-vegetation. This ensures that there is a proper plan in place, and funds available, to prepare former mines and quarries for their next use.

Reclamation is done on an ongoing basis as areas of mines and quarries are completed, which limits the size of the area in actual production, and ensures that environmental considerations are a daily concern for companies, not just an afterthought. Total reclamation of a site must be completed within a year of an operation ending.

MANS recently launched a new educational web site – www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca – that explains, in layman’s terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also touring current and former mines across the province to showcase the modern industry’s safety and environmental track record.

September 29, 2013
LIBERALS, CONSERVATIVES SUPPORT FUEL TAX FAIRNESS
Fuel tax rebate key to job creation in mining industry

Two out of three of Nova Scotia’s main political parties support extending the fuel tax rebate to the mining and quarrying industry, according to questionnaire responses from the parties.

"The fuel tax rebate would help the mining and quarrying industry grow and create jobs in rural areas," said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of MANS. "The government should help all resource industries create jobs for Nova Scotians. Forestry, fishing and farming get the fuel tax rebate and mining and quarrying should get it too."

The provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for public roads and highways by charging the vehicle owners who use them. The government gives other natural 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. However, Nova Scotia does not give the rebate to mining and quarrying. This is costing Nova Scotians jobs by making it more expensive to operate in Nova Scotia and discouraging investment in the province.

MANS emailed the leaders of the three main political parties on September 8 to ask where they each stand on the issue and they responded as follows:

Liberals – “The Nova Scotia Liberal Party will extend the fuel tax rebate to the mining and quarrying industry.”

Progressive Conservatives – “A PC government will extend the fuel tax rebate to the mining and quarrying industry. We have consistently been in favour of this extension as it provides a logical benefit to the mining and quarrying industry while also levelling the playing field with other provinces who offer this rebate. We first introduced our bill to remove this tax on October, 25, 2012 and reintroduced it April 16, 2013. Removal of the fuel tax would encourage investment in our economy and create jobs, two things a PC government knows are important to all Nova Scotians.”

NDP – “The NDP government will not extend the fuel tax rebate to the mining industry at this time, when other tax reductions have higher priority. The NDP will consider your position on the rebate in the context of continuing to balance the budget.”

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

September 13, 2013
MINING INDUSTRY FORECAST: COOLER
Government regulation a major obstacle to job creation

Nova Scotia mining and quarrying companies are feeling less optimistic than they were in the spring, according to a recent survey.

"While some of the industry’s pessimism is the result of peak season nearing its end, the mining and quarrying industry clearly faces significant challenges,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. "The industry is struggling with a combination of a slow economy and unhelpful government regulation. While we cannot fix the global economy, we clearly need greater policy support from the provincial government to help the industry grow and create more jobs.”

A quarterly poll conducted by MANS shows that 49% of industry players think the state of their business will be about the same in the next six months (compared to 36% last quarter). 27% think their business will be somewhat better (down from 34%) and 13% think their business will be somewhat worse (compared to 15.5% three months ago). Only 9% think their business will be a lot better, down from 12% in the spring.

60% anticipate their number of employees will be the same in the next six months (compared to 50% last quarter). 11% anticipate hiring more employees (down from 27.5%) and 18% expect to decrease employees (compared to 12% three months ago).

Respondents said the general state of the economy is the biggest obstacle their business faces with government regulation being a close second. Mine and quarry operators, who employ the majority of people in the industry, said government regulation is their biggest obstacle.

The industry’s policy concerns include being charged fuel tax even though other resource industries receive a tax rebate for fuel consumed off-highway; a recent 75% hike in claim staking fees; and high taxes and royalties that make Nova Scotia an expensive jurisdiction in which to operate.

The online survey was conducted between August 27 and September 12. The 45 respondents included the full range of industry players - producers, prospectors/explorers and service/supply companies.

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

September 5, 2013
PROSPECTORS ROCKED BY EXPLORATION FEE HIKES
Increase will discourage mineral exploration

Government increases in mineral exploration fees will choke off future discoveries and cost the province jobs, according to the Mining Association of Nova Scotia.

"Prospecting and exploration are key to ensuring future jobs in the mining industry," said Sean Kirby, MANS' Executive Director. "These huge fee increases will discourage exploration and be particularly hard on individual prospectors who simply can't afford them. Many prospectors could be left with no choice but to abandon their claims."

The provincial government hiked claim staking fees by 75% effective August 26. The change puts Nova Scotia fees dramatically out of step with other Atlantic provinces. The new fees are, on average, 53% higher than New Brunswick's and 621% higher than Newfoundland and Labrador's. (PEI does not have a mining industry.)

Individual prospectors are a key foundation of the mining industry. Prospecting includes walking through forests and natural areas, often with a rock hammer and gold pan, looking for indications of mineral deposits. When a prospector believes a site has mineral potential, he/she stakes a claim with the provincial government, which gives the prospector the exclusive right to explore that piece of ground for a certain time. Staking fees are required as part of keeping a claim in good standing.

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

September 2, 2013
MANS: STUDENTS HEADING BACK TO THE SALT MINES
Mining and quarrying make education possible

The kids may not be aware of it as they head back to school this week, but they have mining and quarrying to thank for making their education possible.

"As students head 'back to the salt mines,' they will be using millions of tonnes of materials from actual mines and quarries as part of their daily routines," said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. "Mining and quarrying contribute to everything in our daily lives, from houses to electronics to food production. Even our education system would not exist without the materials we take from the ground."

A day in the life of students includes many examples of how mining and quarrying make education possible:

  • Kids will wake up for school in homes that require, on average, about 160 tonnes of gravel to build.
  • They will brush their teeth with toothpaste that likely contains powdered limestone which is used as an abrasive to clean off plaque.
  • Their school buses will travel on roads that require 18,000 tonnes of aggregates per kilometre to build - enough to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • They will learn in schools that require, on average, about 15,000 tonnes of aggregate to build.
  • The walls in their homes and schools will contain gypsum, much of which is mined at the world's largest gypsum mine in Milford Station, Nova Scotia.
  • Their classrooms will have computers that contain a wide range of minerals, including gold which is used in virtually all electronics.
  • Coal burned for energy will help keep the lights on and those computers running.
  • Students will eat foods that contain salt and zinc, both of which are necessary for good health. Salt will also help keep our roads safe for school buses this winter.

All these materials are either produced in Nova Scotia or are expected to be mined in the province in the near future.

MANS recently launched a new educational web site - www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca -that explains, in layman's terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also touring current and former mines across the province to showcase the modern industry's safety and environmental track record.

August 23, 2013
MANS CLARIFIES QUARRY RULES
Smaller quarries regulated just as stringently as any other quarry

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is issuing the following statement to clarify rules around quarries:

The mining and quarrying industry is stringently regulated by the provincial government. All environmental and operational aspects of quarries, regardless of their size, are closely controlled by the province. The province’s regulatory regime helps ensure that Nova Scotians enjoy the full benefits of the materials we take from the ground, and that the industry operates in a safe, sustainable, responsible fashion.

Quarries that are smaller than four hectares are held to the same environmental and safety standards as any other quarry – i.e. the buffers are the same; the noise, dust and water management rules are the same; and the reclamation requirements are the same. They go through the same Industrial Approval (IA) process that larger quarries do, and it is the IA that rigorously addresses these operational and environmental issues, not environmental assessments as is sometimes suggested. The only difference is that quarries under four hectares are considered by the government to be lower risk for the environment so they do not require an environmental assessment. They are simply too small to have the sort of impacts that are addressed through an environmental assessment and the IA process is the more effective and appropriate way of regulating them. Regardless, quarries smaller than four hectares are regulated just as stringently as any other quarry.

About three-quarters of Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is aggregate production, most of which is used in the province for construction, such as building homes, roads, schools and hospitals. Most of the companies are local paving and construction companies, generally multi-generation, family-owned, rural businesses that are pillars of their communities. They provide thousands of jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the province’s economy each year.

Aggregate Facts:
Aggregate is the word used to describe sand, rocks, gravel, crushed stone and shale. Aggregate is used virtually everywhere – in all buildings and infrastructure, including homes, roads, schools and hospitals. Without aggregate, we could not build these essential parts of our modern world.

On average, each Nova Scotian uses 10 to 15 tonnes of aggregate each year, which means we need 10-15 million tonnes of aggregate each year to keep Nova Scotia running. For example:

  • Building one kilometre of two-lane highway requires about 18,000 tonnes of aggregates – enough to fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Building a typical single family home requires about 160 tonnes of gravel (that's about 11 truckloads).
  • Building an average-sized school or hospital requires about 15,000 tonnes of aggregate.

MANS recently launched a new educational web site – www.NotYourGrandfathersMining.ca – that explains, in layman’s terms, how the industry works today and how it is stringently regulated by the provincial government. The association is also touring current and former mines across the province to showcase the modern industry’s safety and environmental track record.

July 26, 2013
MANS: PROTECT JOBS AS WELL AS LAND
Better balance needed to ensure economic growth

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is calling on the provincial government to strike a better balance between protecting jobs and land in its Parks and Protected Areas Plan.

“Protecting natural lands for future generations is important, but so is protecting jobs,” said Pat Mills, President of MANS. “We support protecting land but a better balance is needed to ensure economic growth and opportunity for Nova Scotians.”

“While there is an obvious public good in protecting lands, economic uses of land are also a public good, and permanently removing land from economic use harms the province’s economy,” said Sean Kirby, MANS’ Executive Director. “It prevents those lands from being used to create jobs, prosperity and tax revenues. It decreases the province’s economic potential, both now and for future generations.”

The provincial government released its Parks and Protected Areas Plan today. The plan will harm Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry by preventing exploration and development on over 13% of the province’s land mass.

MANS asked the government to consider two simple, pragmatic policy proposals which would have resulted in a better balance between protecting land and economic opportunity:

  • A “land swap” mechanism 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. This would ensure that:
    • the total amount of protected land remains the same or grows;
    • the ecological value of protected lands remains the same or grows; and
    • Nova Scotians will continue to be able to access the minerals they need to create jobs and grow the economy.
  • A cap on the amount of land that the government can protect. This would put a reasonable limit on the amount of land that is permanently removed from economic use.

“We believe these simple, pragmatic proposals would strike an appropriate balance that protects both natural lands and future economic opportunity for Nova Scotians,” said Mr. Mills. “We are disappointed that the government has not shown any interest in these solutions.”

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

June 12, 2013
SURVEY: MINING INDUSTRY OUTLOOK CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC
“There may be light at the end of the tunnel”

After several difficult years, most Nova Scotia mining and quarrying companies are cautiously optimistic about how they will do this year, according to a recent survey.

A poll conducted by the Mining Association of Nova Scotia shows that 36% of industry players think the state of their business will be about the same in the next six months. 34% think their business will be somewhat better and 15.5 % think their business will be somewhat worse. 12% think their business will be a lot better for the rest of 2013.

50% anticipate their number of employees will be the same for the balance of the year while 27.5% anticipate hiring more employees and 12% expect to decrease employees.

"The survey suggests that the industry will continue to face significant challenges this year but that there may be light at the end of the tunnel," said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of MANS. "The industry is struggling with a combination of a slow economy, negative public perceptions and unhelpful government regulation. While we cannot fix the global economy, we clearly need greater policy support from the provincial government to help the industry grow and create more jobs.”

Overall, respondents said the general state of the economy is the biggest obstacle their business faces. However, mine and quarry operators, which employ the majority of people in the industry, said government regulation is their biggest obstacle.

The online survey was conducted between May 28 and June 7. The 58 respondents included the full range of industry players - producers, prospectors/explorers and service/supply companies.

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

May 7, 2013
MANS MARKS WESTRAY ANNIVERSARY
Injury rates reduced 90% in the last 15 years

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is marking the anniversary of the Westray mine disaster by highlighting how the industry has changed in recent decades.

“As an industry, we believe the most important thing to come out of a mine is the miner, and our safety record reflects this,” said Pat Mills, President of MANS. “Injury rates in the mining and quarrying industry have been reduced 90% in the last 15 years, and are lower than other comparable industries. May 9 is a sad anniversary for us, but the Westray miners did not die in vain. Our memorial to those 26 miners is our commitment to continuous improvement in mine safety – to making sure a tragedy like Westray never happens again.

“Modern mining uses technology and knowledge to extract materials safely and ensure that our colleagues get home to their families each night,” said MANS’ Executive Director Sean Kirby. “Westray was a tragic reminder that we have to make every effort to ensure the safety of our colleagues, friends and loved ones. We work every day, in partnership with the provincial government, to make our workplaces safer.”

The Westray mine in Plymouth, Nova Scotia, exploded at 5:20 a.m. on May 9, 1992, taking the lives of 26 miners. A public inquiry into the disaster, conducted Justice K. Peter Richard, 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.

Justice Richard’s 1997 report also 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.”

MANS recently launched a new web site – 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 mines 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.

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

April 16, 2013
MANS CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO SUPPORT REBATE BILL
"Help us grow and create jobs in rural areas"

Nova Scotia's mining and quarrying industry is calling on the provincial government to pass a private members bill that would give mining and quarrying the same fuel tax rebate that other resource industries get.

Progressive Conservative MLA and Natural Resources Critic Alfie MacLeod tabled proposed amendments to the Revenue Act in the legislature today. The bill's explanatory note says it "exempts the mining industry from the gasoline and diesel oil tax in the same way as the fishing, farming and forestry industries are exempted."

"Giving mining and quarrying the fuel tax rebate would help us grow and create jobs in rural areas," said Pat Mills, President of MANS. "We were very disappointed that the recent budget did not extend to our industry the same rebate that the government gives other resource industries. The government should correct this unfair situation by passing this bill."

"The government should help all resource industries invest in the province and create jobs," said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of MANS. "Forestry, fishing and farming get the fuel tax rebate and mining should get it too."

Both provincial opposition parties and a dozen municipalities have called on the government to extend the rebate to the mining and quarrying industry.

The provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for public roads and highways by charging the vehicle owners who use them. The government gives other natural 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, but does not give it to mining.

Including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per 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.

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.

April 15, 2013
“THIS IS NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S MINING INDUSTRY”
MANS tackles misconceptions about mining and quarrying

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is launching a campaign today to correct outdated perceptions about the industry.

“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,” said 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.”

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

At the Quarry Pond in Halifax’s Point Pleasant Park, MANS representatives explained that the industry 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, now considered one of Nova Scotia’s most beautiful natural spaces, contains over 50 former quarries that provided stone to build forts and walls in the Park. Slate from the Quarry Pond was used to help build the Martello Tower.

“Today, companies have to submit bonds and reclamation plans to government which ensure that former mines and quarries are properly prepared for their next use. This means 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,” said Kirby. “If a former quarry can be as beautiful as the Quarry Pond, just think how great modern mines and quarries look after they are reclaimed to today’s standards.”

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

April 5, 2013
MANS: GOVERNMENT GIVES MINING “THE SHAFT”
Budget fails to deliver Fuel Tax Fairness

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia says the provincial budget treated mining and quarrying unfairly by not giving the industry the same fuel tax rebate that other resource industries get.

“The government is giving mining the shaft,” said Pat Mills, President of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. “The government gives other resource industries a rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats and farm tractors. Nova Scotia gives the rebate to fishing, farming and forestry, but does not give it to mining. The budget did nothing to fix this unfair situation.”

“The fuel tax is a jobs killer,” said MANS’ Executive Director Sean Kirby. “It sends a signal to the global mining industry that Nova Scotia is closed for business and a bad place to invest. It is preventing the industry from creating new jobs, particularly in the rural areas that desperately need help.”

MANS recently held a news conference at Selwyn Resource’s ScoZinc mine to highlight that that one project, when it starts, will create 140 new jobs and generate more than $10 million per year in taxes and royalties – almost four times the $2.6 million it would cost the government to give the rebate to the entire mining industry.

MANS began its campaign for “Fuel Tax Fairness” in October and has held media tours at mine and quarry sites all over the province to highlight that the government treats the industry unfairly compared to other resource industries.

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.

March 25, 2013
MANS: “PREMIER, HOP TO IT!”
Help mining create rural jobs

Premier Dexter should “hop to it” and give the mining and quarrying industry the fuel tax rebate in the upcoming budget, says the Mining Association of Nova Scotia.

“The government gives other resource industries a tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as fishing boats and farm tractors. This helps companies reinvest and create jobs in rural areas,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of MANS. “The government should extend the fuel tax rebate to mining and quarrying in the upcoming budget. The government should hop to it and help us create rural jobs too.”

“We want to restart the ScoZinc mine and create 140 new high-paying jobs for Nova Scotians, but the government is making it more difficult by not giving the rebate to the mining industry,” said Joe Ringwald, Vice President of Mining with Selwyn Resources, owner of the ScoZinc mine in Cooks Brook. “The benefits to Nova Scotia of a single project like ScoZinc are worth far more than the cost of the rebate. Our expectation is that this project will contribute more than $30 million per year in direct benefits into the Nova Scotia economy as well as more than $10 million per year into the government coffers. That’s about 15% of the comparable direct benefits from the entire Nova Scotia mining industry. It just makes sense to give ScoZinc the rebate and help us restart this mine.”

To highlight its call for the fuel tax rebate, MANS is touring ScoZinc today with a 5-foot tall stuffed bunny rabbit wearing a t-shirt that says: “Premier, hop to it! Help us create rural jobs.” MANS is also giving reporters chocolate Easter bunnies with cards that have the same text.

Selwyn recently announced that it plans to sell its share in the Selwyn zinc and lead project in the Yukon in order to finance the restart of ScoZinc.

The provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for public roads and highways by charging the vehicle owners who use them. Nova Scotia gives the fuel tax rebate to fishing, farming and forestry, but does not give it to mining.

Including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per 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.

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.

March 11, 2013
MUNICIPALITIES SUPPORT FUEL TAX FAIRNESS
“Help us compete and keep jobs here at home”

Municipalities are calling on the provincial government to support rural job creation by extending the fuel tax rebate to the mining and quarrying industry.

“Municipal governments understand that mining is being treated unfairly and it is costing Nova Scotians jobs,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. “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.”

To date, ten municipalities have written to Finance Minister MacDonald to ask that the rebate be extended to mining and quarrying. The municipalities are Truro, New Glasgow, Amherst, Town of Antigonish, Antigonish County, Mulgrave, Guysborough, Pugwash, Victoria County and the District of Lunenburg.

  • Truro Mayor Bill Mills’ letter asks the finance minister to “bring Nova Scotia in line with all of the other Provinces to help us compete and keep jobs here at home.”
  • New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan wrote that “all natural resources industries should be treated equally and fairly and we urge your Government to provide a fuel tax rebate to the mining industry in Nova Scotia.”
  • Mulgrave Mayor Lorne MacDonald said “we believe that the mining and quarrying industry in Nova Scotia should be afforded the same treatment as it receives in every other province in Canada!”
  • The Chief Administrative Officer of Victoria County, Sandy Hudson, wrote that “it only makes sense to extend this rebate to mining and quarrying equipment used in the production of raw material for this industry.”

The ten municipal letters are available on request.

MANS 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, but does not give it to mining.

Including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per 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.

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.

February 28, 2013
MANS: DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHOULD GET OFF THE ROAD
"Government-run paving operations as inefficient as government-run Tim Hortons"

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia says government-run paving operations are as inefficient as the government's money-losing Tim Hortons franchise.

"Private paving companies run efficient operations that provide the best value to taxpayers," said Sean Kirby, MANS' Executive Director. "The government should stop competing with private sector companies and focus on getting its own house in order. The best way to lower paving costs is for the government to issue RFPs earlier and to group small projects together so they are more economical. Better tendering, combined with a competitive, free market, are the key to getting better value for taxpayers."

"The Department of Transportation should stop competing with the private sector and let the experts do the quarrying and road-building," said Kirby. "Government-run paving operations are as inefficient as government-run Tim Hortons."

Media reports revealed in January that Capital Health expects to lose $1.4 million on its retail food service, including a Tim Hortons franchise, in 2012-13 due to labour costs that are approximately 25% higher than in the private sector.

Industry representatives believe that the government's paving labour costs are higher than those of private companies, while its production has been well below business plan targets. The government's chip sealing operation completed only about 50% of its business plan target in 2012 and its paving operation completed only 60% of its target.

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.

February 25, 2013
MINING: NOVA SCOTIA IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS
“Fuel tax puts miners operating in Nova Scotia at a competitive disadvantage”

The Mining Association of Canada says Nova Scotia is discouraging investment and job creation by being the only province that charges the mining industry fuel tax.

“Charging mining and quarrying companies fuel tax puts miners operating in Nova Scotia at a competitive disadvantage relative to other Canadian provinces, “ said Pierre Gratton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mining Association of Canada. “From an international perspective, taxation is an important and weighted consideration when miners are deciding what projects to develop and where to invest.”

“Every other province gives resource industries a tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as mining trucks, fishing boats and farm tractors,” said Sean Kirby, Executive Director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. “Nova Scotia gives the rebate to fishing, farming and forestry but does not give it to mining. The government might as well hang a sign on the province saying ‘Sorry, we’re closed for business.’”

MANS is giving MLAs “Sorry, we’re closed” signs to highlight that the fuel tax is harming Nova Scotia’s mining industry and killing jobs.

Including mining in the off-highway fuel tax rebate would cost the government approximately $2.6 million per 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.

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.

January 29, 2013
MANS DISAPPOINTED ABOUT QUARRY DECISION
“Mining and quarrying is vital to our economy and way of life”

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is expressing its disappointment with a Utility and Review Board decision to block the establishment of a new quarry in Fall River.

“Mining and quarrying is vital to our economy and way of life,” said Pat Mills, President of MANS. “Without mines and quarries, we could not build roads, homes, schools or hospitals. Everything built with concrete includes aggregates from quarries. The materials we take from the ground are the foundation of our modern society.”

“Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity for Nova Scotians,” said Sean Kirby, MANS’ Executive Director. “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 industry’s average wage is over $1,000 per week, 40% higher than the average wages paid in all economic sectors. The industry's total payroll is $96 million per year.

The industry’s high wages reflect the fact that mining today is a sophisticated, high tech industry that employs a wide variety of professional and technically-advanced positions. Modern mining is about knowledge, not strength.

Approximately three-quarters of Nova Scotia’s mining and quarrying industry is aggregate production that is mainly used within the province for construction, such as building roads, homes, schools and hospitals.

January 24, 2013
MANS: “IN THIS CASE, TWO OUT OF THREE IS BAD”
Trains and ships moving minerals get rebate, mining vehicles do not

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia held a news conference at a shipping terminal today to highlight that the provincial government taxes vehicles differently based simply on who owns them.

At National Gypsum’s Bedford Basin wharf, MANS representatives explained that trains and ships that transport gypsum get the off-highway fuel tax rebate but the company’s bulldozers, which facilitate the transfer from trains to ships, do not. CN trains carry gypsum from National Gypsum’s mine in Milford Station, the largest gypsum mine in the world, to the wharf. The gypsum is then shipped to the US on Canada Steamship Lines freighters.

“The train that moves the gypsum gets the rebate. The ship that moves the gypsum gets the rebate. But the bulldozer that moves the gypsum does not get the rebate for the simple reason that it is owned by a mining company,” said Pat Mills, President of MANS and National Gypsum’s mine manager. “That is not fair.”

“Three vehicles moving the same product, at the same wharf, should be treated the same,” said MANS’ Executive Director Sean Kirby. “In this case, two out of three is bad. All three of these vehicles should get the rebate.”

MANS is running a “Fuel Tax Fairness” campaign to get the off-highway fuel tax rebate. Nova Scotia is the only province that charges the mining and quarrying industry fuel tax.

MANS also released today a letter to the government written by National Gypsum and the four other non-Nova Scotian mining companies operating in the province. While ¾ of the mining and quarrying companies that would benefit from the fuel tax rebate are Nova Scotia companies - mostly multi-generation, family-owned, rural businesses – the five non-Nova Scotian producers are committing to “reinvest in this province the savings from the off-highway fuel tax rebate” and to “use the savings from the rebate to create jobs and help ensure that our operations are as efficient and competitive as possible.”

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.