Province Accepts Coal Leases

Department of Natural Resources

July 16, 2003 2:48 PM

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.

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Contact: Susan Mader Zinck
         Natural Resources
         902-424-5239
         E-mail: madersd@gov.ns.ca

         Mary Anna Jollymore
         Natural Resources
         902-424-2354
         E-mail: jollymmt@gov.ns.ca

kjd         July 16, 2003      2:47 P.M.