A Little Piece of Nova Scotia, Everywhere
NOTE: The following is an op-ed from Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette.
Everywhere you turn, chances are you’re very close to a little piece of Nova Scotia that comes from a mine.
From the gypsum in your home’s drywall, to the salt that keeps us from slipping in the winter, these things and much more come from Nova Scotia’s mining industry.
Nova Scotia’s mining industry is something we can all take pride in, especially with the New Mineral Resources Act and regulations coming into effect this month.
These new rules encourage responsible mineral exploration and development in our province.
While mining only takes up about 0.1 per cent of our land, we don’t want to see any part of our province spoiled for future generations.
Companies that develop a mine in Nova Scotia are required to have a plan to restore the site once it closes. They must also set aside funds with the province, also called security, to do this work, even if the company goes out of business. A company’s plan will be reviewed every three years.
Communities have an opportunity to be involved in all stages of the exploration process and conservation officers now have enforcement authorities.
The new act also cuts red tape and saves industry money. This is good news for more than 800 Nova Scotians working in the mining industry, many of whom are young people living in rural areas earning a respectable salary.
We’ve been doing this kind of work since before Nova Scotia existed. For a small province, we have access to rich natural resources and it’s something we’re good at.
Coal was first mined in Cape Breton in 1672 and gypsum in the late 1700s. Today, we’re mining gold, coal, salt, gypsum and limestone.
We’re also exploring for high-tech materials, like lithium, tin and graphite, that can be exported to markets around the world.
All of this creates more opportunities for young people to work and stay close to their families.
So, whether it’s the limestone used to make concrete for sidewalks, or the gold used in the circuitry of your phone, you might just be looking at a little piece of Nova Scotia.