Nova Scotia Journal

Operations at N.S. gold mine could be stopped if the province doesn’t support change

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • St Barbara has requested permission to raise the height of the tailings pond wall.
  • St Barbara has requested the province to raise the height of the tailings management structure at the Touquoy mine in Moose River, N.S., to let it store more goods there.

The firm that owns the region’s only gold mine says the operation will have to be discontinued if the area doesn’t support an application to make changes at the site.

St Barbara, based in Australia, owns the Touquoy gold mine in Moose River, N.S., and has three other offered gold mines in various phases of environmental review.

The firm’s subsidiary, Atlantic Mining Nova Scotia Inc., has requested the region to let it store tailings — the leftover material after gold is removed — in the open pit at Touquoy once mining is completed.

In May, Environment Minister Timothy Halman chose the firm that did not supply enough details about the possible environmental effects of that recommendation to make a decision. He gave the company one year to submit extra plans and studies.

Read more: Nova Scotia Power penalized $175K for Tufts Cove oil spill

The firm that owns the region’s only gold mine says the operation will have to be discontinued if the area doesn’t support an application to make changes at the site

In a press release issued Wednesday, St Barbara said that decision, which it said came “late in the process,” is “placing company continuity at stake.”

The Tailings facility will run out of space this fall

The mine’s existing tailings management facility has enough room to stay until mid-September. Even if the proposal to store tailings in the open pit were agreed upon, construction on the critical infrastructure would not be able to be finished in time, the firm said.

It has offered another proposal to the province to see the existing wall of the tailings management facility raised to let more material be deposited there.

The firm is working closely with local regulators and anticipating a decision on the bid in early August.

Source – cbc.ca

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