News release

Province Accepts Coal Leases

The Cape Breton Development Corporation has relinquished its coal lease for the Sydney coalfields. The announcement that the lease has been surrendered to the province was made today, July 16, by Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive.

"Now that the province has control of the coal rights we will be able to look at what opportunities they may provide in the future," said Mr. Olive. "There is the potential for continued mining of the coal reserves, which could provide economic development opportunities for Cape Breton Island."

The Department of Natural Resources expects there will be private sector interest in developing coal resources in the Sydney coalfield. The department will administer a fair and an open process to consider applications for new coal leases over known reserves.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The Cape Breton Development Corporation has relinquished its coal lease for the Sydney coalfields to the province.

Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive made the announcement today (July 16th).

There is potential for continued mining of the coal reserves, which could provide economic opportunities for Cape Breton, says Mr. Olive.

Applications for new coal leases will be considered by the province.

-30-

Contact:

Susan Mader Zinck
Natural Resources 902-424-5239 E-mail:
Mary Anna Jollymore
Natural Resources 902-424-2354 E-mail:
kjd            July 16, 2003       2:47 P.M.