Cochrane Hill Gold Mine proposal

Reference Number

  To Whom It May Concern:

       Proposed project for gold mining on Cochran healingGuysborough County, Nova Scotia should not be permitted to proceed for the following reasons:

1) the proposal essentially proposes grinding up a significant portion of a piece of the Meguma Terrane which will activate a tremendous release of contained arsenic as well as other heavy metals. Although statements have been made about the improvement in extraction techniques containment techniques proposal is inappropriate for prevention of the size of Nova Scotia. To date all other goldmines in Nova Scotia have been abandoned with no real rehabilitation and at this point will be effectively no different although the standings will be contained in effectively one spot. This location is on the watershed between the St. Mary's River system as well as the Port Hilford/ Indian Harbour  system. The claim has been made that newer extraction techniques are less toxic than historic once it is true that this does not change the fundamental composition of the rock being extracted and releasing its heavy metals particularly arsenic, cadmium and lead.

 2) the proposed containment will be behind an earthen berm as well as the cavity left by the mining activities. The global warming proposal for Nova Scotia is that we will have increased rainfall, more freeze thaw cycles, warmer winters all of which contribute to an engineering nightmare in terms of maintaining stability of any earthen containment of tailings.  We have seen worldwide the consequences of earthen containment systems failure with acute environmental consequences as well as tremendous human cost. Lately we have had a similar disaster occur in British Columbia from a mine site which was purported to have the state-of-the-art engineering. Given the climatic future of Nova Scotia the consequences of having this sort of containment let go would be disastrous , attendings will be is toxic in 100 or 200 years as they are at the time production.

3) the watershed which will be impacted most will be the St. Mary's River system in spite of any assertions from the mining company. This historically has been the main Atlantic salmon River in Nova Scotia and has now seen its population dwindle to very small numbers until recently. The St. Mary's River association and other groups have been engaged in a huge restoration of this River system with significant improvement in the same and population. The Southern Upland Salmon gene pool in Nova Scotia is a threatened population due to a variety of risks from acid rain, mining and poor forest practices.  This mine which is close to the confluence of the East and West Branches  of the St. Mary's River has the potential to kill the entire river..

4) for the reasons outlined above the potential risk to the public person from a serious environmental disaster due to this line is in the range of 100's millions of dollars. The mine will probably be long gone by that time and the company while.this cost potentially would fall to the public purse as it has for most other sites in this province. The realities paid minuscule in relation to the infrastructure costs as well. The mine proposal is not considering maintenance of the public highways , bridges and other infrastructure which would be damaged by heavy Equipment Transporting Rock Down Hwy., #7 .  Until those features are calculated in the total cost of the project and for the other reasons above I cannot see any reasonable argument for mining at this site.


John Hamilton

 Antigonish , Nova Scotia

Submitted by
Administrator on behalf of John Hamilton
Public Notice
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