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Series of Podcasts on the NS Gold Mine Rush

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

Given the recent news media coverage of the MANS sponsored Gold Mine Investors Show at the Alt Hotel at the airport and the SMRA members participation in the Water Not Gold Protest outside the show, we thought we would bring your attention to a series of 5 recent podcasts featured on CBC’s Information Morning regarding the “gold mine rush” in Nova Scotia. The last podcast features the Minister of Energy and Mines for Nova Scotia: Derek Mombourquette. At the end of the podcast the public is invited to provide comments on the minister’s comments and we are encouraging everyone to respond to the invitation. Included in this blog after the Minister’s podcast link is Mr. Peter Lund’s, response to the Derek Mombourquette’s interview.

Part 1: MANS – Hear why the Mining Association of N.S. says we’re in the middle of a gold rush.

Part 2: Joan Kuyek – Joan responds to the MANS interview – She says it does not make sense to mine gold.

Joan is author of Unearthing Justice – How To Protect your community from the mining industry– This is the best reference that I have come across for communities facing proposed mines. “Unearthing Justice is the most authoritative, valuable, and necessary book written about the mining industry in Canada. Kuyek’s dead smart analysis keeps you turning the pages to understand how an industry that literally drains the resources of the earth, our communities, and the public coffers has manged to sustain its spectacular growth and investment. It is devastating and empowering in equal parts”– a book review quote from Shiri Pasternak, assistant professor of criminology, Ryerson University, research director, Yellowhead Institute.

Part 3: Raymond Plourde Ecology Action Centre – Comments on the Nova Scotia “gold mine rush”

Part 4: Harry Kelly and Shauna Higgins tell the CBC’s Phlis McGregor what it’s like to live on the Moose River Road near Nova Scotia’s only operating gold mine.

Part 5: Minister of energy and mines defends gold mining – DerekMombourquette – Note his comments when asked about what is in it for the province, the income tax the province receives from the jobs created at the mine.

Peter Lund, Hydrogeologist responds to the minister’s comments:

I just listened to the interview with N.S. Minister of Mines. If I heard correctly, the Minister stated that there would be 300 direct jobs and the rest of the 3,000 jobs would be indirect. I also heard him say that the upfront bond would be used for site reclamation after the mines close.
There is only talk of economic benefits by government. This in my opinion is “short term gain for long term pain”. No consideration is being given to all the harmful emissions being generated and their impact while the mines are operational.
Atlantic Gold will have each mine open for about six years and will be around only for three years after to reclaim the sites (I assume “using their bonds” provided to the Province). It seems to me that when problems arise associated with water quality after mine closure and would then require treatment, which I read would / could happen in 5-20 years after closure as stated in  Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reports submitted to government, I assume the government (ie taxpayers) will be on the hook. There is also no consideration in the EIS to account for acid rock drainage generated in the blast zone that may not start for years after closure.

I ask, how much will it cost to clean-up the St. Mary’s River and affected upstream lakes if and when the tailings ponds fail? Tailings ponds failures have been documented around the world, including those placed by Atlantic Gold, resulting in disastrous impacts. There has been no consideration of high intensity storms associated with climate change in the EIS reports and potential affects that could have.
I am a Hydrogeologist (also former HRM Councillor) and my experience/take on this situation is that you may not see a problem for 10-30 years out after mine closure. When an impact is realized then, what steps will be taken for cleanup and at what cost? What economic impact will that have on homes, the environment, fisheries, etc?
This, in my opinion, is a disaster in the making, that could last for generations long after the mining company has made their millions and left town.
My thoughts.
Peter Lund, P. Geo
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