News Release Archive

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT--Prospectors Development Program Announced
A $600,000 federal-provincial program to encourage mineral
exploration and to train Nova Scotia's prospectors has been

Funded under the Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on
Economic Diversification, the program was announced today by
Natural Resources Minister Ken MacAskill on behalf of Manning
MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, and
Wynne Potter, vice-president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities
Agency-Nova Scotia.

Details of the program were outlined at the annual Review of
Activities meeting of the Minerals and Energy Branch of the
Department of Natural Resources, at the World Trade and
Convention Centre in Halifax.

The four-year program is made up of three components. The first
is the development of a training program for prospectors to be
offered in Halifax and Port Hawkesbury. The second component
provides trainees with basic prospecting techniques, mineral
analyses and geochemistry or geophysics. The third component will
help prospectors become involved with marketing opportunities at
national and international trade fairs.

"Mining employs over 4,000 people and contributes about $596
million to the Nova Scotia economy each year, which amounts to
approximately 40 per cent of the GDP for the primary resource
sector," said Mr. MacAskill.

"This project will strengthen and help build the community of
prospectors in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Potter. "This program is
another way to help promote the Nova Scotia mineral resource
potential to exploration and investment companies around the

The program will encourage continued growth of prospecting in
Nova Scotia. There are currently 640 registered prospectors in
the province. Under the program announced today, about 60
individuals will receive entry-level training each year, about 15
will receive upgrading, up to 25 will receive support for
prospecting projects, and up to 30 will receive support to
exhibit at trade shows and exhibitions.

Prospecting is at the very root of the mining and mineral
industry and is carried out under mineral exploration licences.
Approximately 405,000 hectares of land (one million acres) is
currently under licence in Nova Scotia. The forecast value of
exploration activity in fiscal 1997-98 is $6.6 million, compared
with $5.7 million in 1996.

The mining industry produces mostly coal and industrial minerals
such as gypsum, salt, aggregate, limestone and barite. In the
past, Nova Scotia has been a significant producer of lead, zinc,
copper, gold and tin. The province has the geological potential
for further discoveries of these and other mineral commodities.

The Canada/Nova Scotia COOPERATION Agreement on Economic
Diversification is managed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities
Agency and Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. on behalf of the
government of Canada and by Economic Development and Tourism on
behalf of the province of Nova Scotia.


Contact: Blaine Henshaw
         Natural Resources

         Julia Watt
         Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

ngr                  Oct. 31, 1997                12:01 p.m.