Province Accepts Proposals for Surface Coal Resources

Department of Natural Resources

May 21, 2004 3:35 PM

The province has accepted proposals from three companies to
explore, develop and reclaim four areas, or claim blocks, in the
Sydney coalfield.

The successful companies are Thomas Brogan and Sons Construction
Company, Coastal Construction and Excavating Limited and Pioneer
Coal Limited.

Thomas Brogan and Sons and Coastal Construction are now entitled
to apply for exclusive mineral rights to coal lying within the
Birch Grove and Boularderie Island claim blocks, respectively.
Pioneer Coal is eligible to pursue exclusive mineral rights to
coal within both the Point Aconi and Broughton resource blocks.

"These companies have demonstrated that they are technically and
financially able to conduct their proposed projects and have
corporate experience in the local area," said Natural Resources
Minister Richard Hurlburt. "We look forward to working with them
as they move to the next steps."

"Cape Breton still has significant coal resources, which can
provide important economic benefits to our communities and
companies such as the Cape Breton Central Nova Scotia Railway,"
said Energy Minister Cecil Clarke. "These proposals support our
commitment to develop these valuable resources in a responsible
way - a commitment we made to Nova Scotians in our energy
strategy, Seizing the Opportunity."

In addition to making applications for the mineral rights, the
companies must also obtain land access rights and adhere to all
regulatory requirements, which include securing industrial
approvals and environmental assessments.

Several of these sites require reclamation work to restore lands
impacted by decades of underground mining operations.

Six companies responded to a call for proposals issued in
December 2003.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province has accepted proposals from three companies to

explore, develop and reclaim four areas in the Sydney coalfield.

     The successful companies are Thomas Brogan and Sons

Construction Company, Coastal Construction and Excavating Limited

and Pioneer Coal Limited.

     The companies must apply for the mineral rights, as well as

obtain land access rights and adhere to all environmental

and regulatory requirements.

-30-

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



jal         May 21, 2004        3:34 P.M.