Geoscience & Mines Branch


The Mineral Resources Branch is responsible for implementing policies and programs dealing with the exploration, development, management and efficient use of mineral resources. The branch promotes scientific understanding of the geology of Nova Scotia for use by government, industry and the public and provides a mineral rights tenure system that establishes legal rights to minerals for exploration and development. The branch also promotes the concepts of environmental responsibility and sustainable development, stewardship of the mineral resource sector and integrated resource planning. The Branch consists of two divisions:

Executive Director - Don James (902) 424-2523   jamesdt@gov.ns.ca

The Geological Services Division is responsible for:

  • Conducting geological and geochemical mapping and related geoscientific studies throughout the province, to provide a current, high quality geological map base that is relevant to the needs of the various users.
  • Conducting detailed studies of Nova Scotia's mineral resources, including base and precious metals, coal and industrial minerals.
  • Analyzing and interpreting geoscientific information, and publishing the results as maps, reports, and digital files for use by the mineral industry and the general public.
  • Liaising with other providers of geoscientific information in the province (including other provincial departments, the federal government, universities and the mineral industry).
  • Developing and maintaining a computerized inventory of mineral occurrences in the province.
  • Developing and maintaining geoscientific databases, and a Geographic Information System (GIS) for analyzing data and improving public access to geoscientific information.
  • Providing geoscientific information and advice in issues related to land use and sustainable development.
  • Providing input to the integrated resource management (IRM) process.
  • Promoting opportunities for exploration and development of mineral resources in Nova Scotia.
  • Providing a source of expert, impartial advice to the people of Nova Scotia on matters related to geoscience.

For more information on the Mineral Division visit the Divisions' web pages

The Mineral Management Division is responsible for:
  • Receiving and evaluating applications for and issuing mineral rights.
  • Assessing exploration work reports submitted by industry and registering activities.
  • Providing technical and financial assessment and evaluation of minerals and energy resources and promoting development of same.
  • Developing and administering regulations relative to the mining industries.
  • Providing advice on markets and market opportunities, and alternative uses of mineral resources and addressing environmental issues relative to the utilization of same; encouraging value added production and product development.
  • Coordinating a "one window" process for approvals of mineral exploration and development projects.
  • Monitoring and analyzing mineral regulatory and trade policies in domestic and international markets.
  • Maintaining, analyzing and distributing data and information on mineral production, pricing and usage.

For more information on the Mineral Division visit the Mineral Development and Management Division web Page