News release

Province Issues Donkin Call for Proposals

The province issued a call for proposals today, Dec. 13, to explore and develop the Donkin coal resource block within the Sydney coalfield.

"This coalfield is the largest coal resource in Eastern Canada and, as such, is important to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia's economy," said Cecil Clarke, Minister of Energy on behalf of Richard Hurlburt, Minister of Natural Resources. "It is imperative that it is mined responsibly by a company with significant technical management and financial resources."

The successful bidder will be provided the exclusive right to apply for a mineral lease for the coal resource as outlined in the call for proposals. The lessee will be subject to the laws of Nova Scotia and will be required to obtain all necessary environmental approvals before mining begins.

"We made a commitment to the people of Nova Scotia in our energy strategy that we would develop these resources in a responsible way," said Mr. Clarke. "And that's what we're doing."

The province engaged Pincock, Allen and Holt, an internationally respected mining engineering consulting company, to help the department prepare the evaluation criteria, evaluate proposals and make recommendations regarding the successful bidder.

The call for proposals and background on the Donkin coal resource block can be accessed on the website at http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/meb/donkin .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province has issued a call for proposals to explore and develop the Donkin coal resource block in Cape Breton.

Located in the Sydney coalfield, the block is the largest in Eastern Canada.

The province says the successful bidder must have the significant technical management and financial resources necessary to mine the block responsibly.

-30-

Contact:

Mary Anna Jollymore
Natural Resources 902-424-2354 E-mail:
John Perkins
Department of Energy 902-424-1757 E-mail: