Stop Mining in Nova Scotia-Protect Archibald Lake-Stop Cochrane Hill Gold Mine

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As a property owner on the Eastern Shore, an avid fisher and an overall concerned Nova Scotian I want to see gold mining in NS eradicated before we completely eradicate our natural environment.

Cochrane Hill, one of four open pit gold mines proposed by Atlantic Gold on Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore will have long-term, negative, irreversible consequences in exchange for marginal, short-term gains by a foreign entity. The project at Cochrane Hill proposes the disruptive and unsustainable use of Archibald Lake as the mine's primary water supply, and the excavation and removal of millions of tons or arsenic laden rock ore containing arguably insignificant gold concentrations. The impact will be devastating to the immediate vicinity of the mine and the surrounding watershed, an impact that will be irreversible.

Arlantic Gold's existing Torquoy mine at Moose River is an excellent case study providing evidence of the misguided thinking to allow further mining in NS. Atlantic Gold has 32 "known" infractions at Moose River, infractions which are sure to multiply at Moose River, Cochrane Hill, Fifteen Mile Stream & Beaver Dam. Gold is extracted from ore at Moose River using a cyanide leaching process. Inadequate containment of cyanide leachate risks spilling into the surrounding watershed with potentially devastating results to flora and fauna. The  effluent containment basin at Moose River is dangerously close to the river and Moose River Provincial Park, an environmentally important "public asset" has been lost to the mine.

Atlantic Gold plans to transport ore from Cochrane Hill, Fifteen Mile, and Beaver Dam via Highway 7 and a new, proposed haul road between Highway 224 and the Mooseland Road for processing/extraction. This stockpiling and added extraction activity will multiply environmental risks at Moose River significantly. In addition the frequent transport of 40,000 pound truckloads of ore along our public highway infrastructure is sure to add a significant cost to the equation.

And for what? Atlantic Gold, a foreign corporate entity reported, last week, significantly lower revenues and earnings in its most recent quarter. Atlantic Gold attributed these revenue and earnings misses to reduced volumes related to poor winter conditions and higher operating costs. This winter was one of the mildest winters that NS has ever experienced so that reason/excuse rings hollow. Operating costs escalate in most businesses and if gold mining is being supported in NS for the "good paying jobs" that it delivers to Nova Scotians, the operating costs are sure to escalate, especially in light of Atlantic Gold's existing staff's recent decision to unionize. Current operating expenses don't even account for mine site or highway remediation costs. Perhaps those will be the responsibility of NS taxpayers who receive a very small royalty for allowing gold mining activity to continue.

The global price for gold can be very volatile and often trades on emotion, gaining value during times of uncertainty and falling in price when the economy is thriving. Gold is currently trading at around USD$1830/oz and has been generally declining for 9 months. How low will it go? We don't know. But we do know that Atlantic Gold's cost to produce one ounce of gold is approaching $1200 and that that cost is likely to increase. What you lose on "margin" ($600/oz currently), you need to make up on "volume" to make a project/business economically viable. Atlantic Gold reports gold concentrations as low as 0.96g/ton of ore and well less than 100% extraction efficiency. So, they either need to mine more ore, or at a certain point, fold up their tents, and go home, without much notice I suspect, leaving destruction and devastation of our wetlands, watersheds and natural environment in their wake.

Please stop the development of Cochrane Hill, Fifteen Mile Stream, Beaver Dam, and all future gold mining in Nova Scotia.

Lewis Page
Submitted by
Lewis Page
Public Notice
Date Submitted
2021-05-07 - 4:51 PM
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