Mining in the News

March 4, 2024 Nova Scotia Government News Release: Nova Scotia launches new critical minerals strategy

Newly created Archibald Lake Wilderness Area kills Cochrane Hill gold mine proposal

A newly created wilderness area kills the possibility that a Nova Scotia lake will be used for gold mining.

Today, the province of Nova Scotia has created a 684-hectare Archibald Lake Wilderness Area. The press release announcing the new wilderness area notes that:

The new wilderness area includes three lakes: Archibald, McDonald and Rocky, which feed Archibald Brook, a tributary of St. Marys River. Nearly 300 hectares of the protected area is old hardwood forest, as defined by the Old-Growth Forest Policy for Nova Scotia.

Tim Bousquet

Halifax Examiner August 23, 2023


St Barbara withdraws environmental assessments for Nova Scotia gold mines

St Barbara is withdrawing its environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Part IV of the Nova Scotia Environment Act for its mines in Nova Scotia, including Touquoy, Beaver Dam, and Fifteen Mile Stream.

Andrew Strelein, the managing director and CEO of St Barbara Ltd, which owns Atlantic Mining NS, made the announcement via a community newsletter on Tuesday.

Suzanne Rent

Halifax Examiner August 15, 2023

St Barbara sells off its Australian gold mine, but what happens to its mines in Nova Scotia?

It’s been months in the making, and for shareholders of Australia’s St Barbara Ltd it looks like one hell of a great deal.

At the end of June, St Barbara sold off its most lucrative gold mining property — the Gwalia mine near Leonora in Australia — to Genesis Minerals, another Australian miner, for about $327 million.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner July 6, 2023

As Touquoy mine operation closes, company celebrates

The caption for the three photos posted on Facebook by a community engagement specialist for St Barbara Ltd says: “Nice evening in Halifax! Last blast party for my work and some quality time with my valentine.” Her words are followed by a flourish of red heart emojis.

Must have been quite the party.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner February 14, 2023

St Barbara eliminates 110 positions in Nova Scotia

With the planned shutdown of the Touquoy mine, St Barbara is eliminating 110 positions in Nova Scotia.

In a letter to Premier Tim Houston, the company says that 56 of the positions are already vacant, and it is “partnered with Nova Scotia Works to assist them in finding new placements within the province and making their next professional steps as seamless as possible” for the remaining 44 workers.

Tim Bousquet

Mornign File (article 6)  Halifax Examiner January 6, 2023

St Barbara is shedding its Nova Scotia gold mine, leaving a litany of environmental concerns

With the stroke of a corporate pen, Australia’s St Barbara Ltd intends to shed its troubled gold mines and mine properties — including those in Nova Scotia operated by its subsidiary Atlantic Mining Nova Scotia — by handing them off to a new junior mining company it will create.

The new company will be called Phoenician Metals, and it will inherit what St Barbara calls its “non-core assets.”

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner January 4, 2023

New Environment minister requires further review for Atlantic Gold’s expansion plan

Yesterday Tim Halman, Nova Scotia’s new Minister of Environment and Climate Change, released a decision that rejected proposed modifications to Atlantic Gold’s Touquoy gold mine at Moose River in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Halman decided that the Registration Document submitted under the province’s Environment Act by Atlantic Gold’s subsidiary Atlantic Mining NS, which operates the Touquoy mine, “is insufficient to make a decision and that additional information is required” from the operator.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner September 9, 2021

Atlantic Gold is facing 32 charges for violating provincial environmental laws; yesterday, we learned the company also faces three federal charges

A lawyer for Atlantic Mining Nova Scotia was in court yesterday to enter pleas on a total of 32 charges laid under the province’s Environment Act related to the company’s open-pit gold mining operation at Moose River and gold exploration at Fifteen Mile Stream on the Eastern Shore — but those pleas weren’t entered.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner June 2, 2021

Leak at Moose River gold mine raises environmental concerns

Atlantic Gold’s manager of environment and permitting, James Millard, calls it a “spill” or a “loss of control” caused by a “gasket failure.”

By whatever name, the event happened on the night of January 3, 2019, at the company’s open pit gold mine at Moose River. It involved 380,000 litres of contaminant-laced slurry, which flowed from the processing plant where ore is crushed and gold extracted, and down a trench underneath the double-lined 500-metre pipe that should have been carrying the effluent to the tailings pond.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner: March 15, 2019

Like blood from a stone: trying to get information out of the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines

Late last year, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy and Mines, Derek Mombourquette, penned an op-ed that his department sent out to the media. As I mentioned in the Halifax Examiner Morning File on January 16, 2019, the opinion piece was entitled “A little piece of Nova Scotia, everywhere,” and it claimed that the province’s mining industry was “something we can all take pride in, especially with the new Mineral Resources Act.” It would encourage “responsible mineral exploration and development” in the province.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner: February 7, 2019

Friends of St. Mary’s River say “NOPE” to Atlantic Gold

The salmon museum in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, is now at the heart of the NOPE campaign to prevent a proposed open pit gold mine from going in near the St. Mary’s River and jeopardizing its salmon recovery

For many years, when the St. Mary’s River Association (SMRA) held meetings in Sherbrooke on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore, the group members’ purpose was primarily to report on the headway they were making in their efforts to achieve their vision of “Health for our river, the Atlantic salmon and our community.”

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner January 25, 2019

Fool’s gold: the resource curse strikes Nova Scotia (Part 4)

How the mining lobby is working to undermine environmental protection in Nova Scotia

On a cold day in late November 2017 a couple of dozen people gathered near Kellys Mountain in Victoria County, on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island, for the first in a series of protests over possible mining or quarrying on the mountain.

They were reacting to comments from the executive director of the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS), Sean Kirby, that mineral deposits on Kellys Mountain were “blocked forever” because they were locked underneath the Kluscap Wilderness Area, which had been created in 2015.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner June 13, 2018

Fool’s gold: the resource curse strikes Nova Scotia (Part 3) 

Cobequid Gold and Tatamagouche Water


The news broke in November 2017 on the front page of the free monthly community paper, The Tatamagouche Light, in an article written by Raissa Tetanish under the headline “Gold in the hills?”

“The hills” are the Eastern Cobequid Highlands in northern Nova Scotia, a mostly forested area of 30,000 hectares (74,132 acres), stretching from the Wentworth ski hill to Earltown.[1]

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner May 30, 2018


Fool’s gold: the resource curse strikes Nova Scotia (Part 2)

Going For Gold

The CEO and chairman of Vancouver-based Atlantic Gold Corporation, Steven Dean, a man with a history of international coal and metal mining and former president of Teck Cominco, was being interviewed by Andrew Bell of the Business News Network (BNN).[1] Dean was talking up his company’s first gold mine, named Touquoy after a French miner who worked the deposit in the late 1800s, which had just gone into production in Moose River, Nova Scotia.

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner May 23, 2018

Fool’s gold: the resource curse strikes Nova Scotia (Part 1)

Welcome to the Gold Rush

There’s a 21st century gold rush starting in Nova Scotia on Canada’s Atlantic coast, just as industrial gold mining is increasingly coming into disrepute around the world. It has been described as an “environmental disaster,” which often leads to contamination of water sources on which life depends. This is the first in a series of four articles on mining and quarrying in Nova Scotia. Earlier versions of these articles appeared in May and June 2018 in the Halifax Examiner and the Cape Breton Spectator. (I am pleased to say that this series of four articles has been shortlisted for an Atlantic Journalism Award in Excellence in Digital Journalism: Enterprise/Longform.)

Joan Baxter

Halifax Examiner May 16, 2018

New Nova Scotia gold rush: Miners seek riches in flecks of precious metal

Amid the dull claystone of a tube-shaped sample of rock, the gleaming, pulse-quickening swirl of gold is unmistakable.

“It’s quite a special specimen of gold — it’s by far the best visible section of gold we’ve ever intersected,” said Tim Bourque, a geologist with Atlantic Gold Corp., cradling the metre-long sample in his arms.

Michael Tutton

CBC News January 18, 2017