Colchester County council to ask DNR to delay Cobequid Highlands mining RFP

A citizens group is thanking Colchester County council for unanimously passing a motion last month to ask the province to delay the request for proposals (RFP) for mining exploration in the Cobequid Highlands.

Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNSS) says in an open letter this week to Mayor Christine Blair and council that their specific concerns are the contamination of water they say would be inevitable from successful gold exploration.

The area in question is a 30,000 hectare section in the in the French River Watershed, Warwick Mountain, and Tatamagouche area.

SuNNS says gold mining would pose risks for environmentally sustainable economic development in the area, for other businesses, and industries that are flourishing in the area such as tourism, agriculture, fishing, and forestry.

Garth DeMont, community liaison geologist with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), told the Tatamagouche Light in November, "We want to create a code of best practice so that any drilling done will maintain the integrity of the water supply. One of the most sensitive areas you can work in is in someone’s water supply."

A motion to write the province was originally defeated at a Council-in-Committee meeting on February 8th, but was brought back to the council table on February 22nd by Councillor Mike Gregory, at which point it passed.

SuNNS points to Gregory's opposition to DNR issuing an RFP "without even having a Best Mining Management Practices policy in place for gold exploration and mining in a watershed area."

DNR was scheduled to make a presentation to council earlier this week on the matter.