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Monday, December 17, 2007

Gold Mine Proposal For Moose River




These two pictures were taken at daybreak from our wharf on Jeddore Harbour. The bottom one is looking Southwest toward Halifax and further toward the USA. There is a shadow with the apex in the direction of New York that is caused by a jet's entrails that are in the photograph above it, which is looking Northeast. You can see the moon in the lower picture, as well. The entrails were left over-night by jets that were actually flying from America, over Nova Scotia, Iceland and ultimately to the European Coast. In a way, I wonder what's in those entrails that foreshadows the future. Probably an appropriate lead into this blog, eh?

Recently there has been an application for a Nova Scotia mining permit by an Australian company called DDV Gold. The Department of the Environment has received a 'Focus Report' from DDV Gold which was filed in support of their application for a permit to reopen the Moose River gold mine. There has been much hand-wringing about whether to allow such a permit, or disallow it. Public response must be into the government by December 24th, 2007. I will be among those presenting comments to the government.

As with many situations in Nova Scotia, the decision process is a very twisted track. The reasons for the twists of decision is similar to most... a lack of strategic planning by the Nova Scotia Department of the Environment. Normally there would be documentation of a strategy that would indicate what type of mining would be approved anywhere in the province. Because none exists, each application has not only to go through environmental assessment and business evaluation... it has to go through the gauntlet of public opinion, as well. In this case, the local communities are very agitated, and working toward stopping the mine from being opened.

I hope that everyone will visit the
website http://www.forestwatch.ca to see how the organization, Eastern Shore Forest Watch is handling the situation. I have a sense that a gold mine will only benefit the financial interests of the off-shore owners of the permit if it is approved... and the risks to the environment are far more significant than any short term economic benefit that is perceived by our provincial government. The lobby group for this DDV Gold company is likely working the department an the provincial members of the legislature very hard, and it will take your active participation in the process to help stop this mine from happening.

On every level I agree with this attempt to stop the mine! I worked for several years with cyanide in the mining, electroplating and PC board manufacturing industries, on the pollution control side. I was with a company called HSA Reactors as the VP of Sales and Marketing and visited countless gold mines. The potential of cyanide and heavy metals entering the ground water and aquifer of our province should concern all of us... not just the environmentalists. My experience was that attempts by gold miners to limit pollution was only to 'appear' to be complying with the regulations. They will do everything possible to circumvent those regs in order to maximize their profits. Once they have done the damage that will no doubt occur, remediation will be impossible... potentially devastating the region for hundreds of years! We have had enough problems over the history of the Eastern Shore with rivers becoming nonviable for the support of migrating fish like salmon which have disappeared from our rivers. We must stop this mine!

A larger issue, it seems to me, is that our leaders have not defined what can and can not be done with our province's valuable resources... here, value does not refer to the destruction or consumption of resources, rather it refers to our legacy to the generations. We must pass on a more pristine Nova Scotia... one with pure aquifer water; forests that have natural, integrated growth, not just evergreen to turn into pulp; and so on to our future generations. We must make strategic decisions with ensuing statutes that reflect a Nova Scotia for the ages.

This DDV Gold Company has not and will not ever contribute to the future of our province, it's people or our best interests. It will take, and run... when the price of gold drops or the economic viability of the mine once again disappears like it did at this same location 75 years ago.

I ask you to act quickly by emailing Premier Rodney MacDonald about the issue. He can be contacted at premier@gov.ns.ca with a copy to EA@gov.ns.ca.

BTW...
The Focus Report is at http://www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ea/MooseRiver.asp, as you may know, is 300+ pages. The 30 Appendices (800+ pages) are available at the same URL, but you must scroll down to find them

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!