Nova Scotia

Anaconda Mining plans changes to proposed Goldboro mine

The company withdrew its project from the environmental assessment process earlier this fall, but that doesn't mean the mine is dead in the water.

Company now wants to process gold bars at Eastern Shore site

An excavator fills a dump truck with crushed rock in Anaconda's open-pit mine in Newfoundland. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

A company that wants to develop a gold mine on the Eastern Shore is making significant changes to its proposal.

Anaconda Mining originally planned to create a 125-hectare surface and underground gold mine just outside Goldboro, N.S., about 250 kilometres east of Halifax.

The proposal called for ore to be processed on site and then for gold concentrate to be trucked to the company's Point Rousse processing facility near Baie Verte, N.L., via the North Sydney ferry.

Company spokesperson Lynn Hammond said the new plans will include a full-scale mill that will produce gold doré, or partially refined, bars at the Goldboro site.

The revised plans also modify the original layout "with a goal of further minimizing environmental impact," Hammond said. 

The amount of time mining at the surface before moving underground will also shrink to two years from three years.

The company now plans to produce gold bars at its proposed Goldboro, N.S., mine rather than trucking gold concentrate to Newfoundland for processing. (Zach Goudie/CBC)

Hammond said the new proposal reflects input received from Mi'kmaq organizations and communities.

The original project was submitted for environmental approval in August 2018.

But the environment minister said the company's submission didn't contain enough information. She asked Anaconda to write a new, more extensive report on the environmental implications of the project, and gave a one-year deadline.

This September, three days before that deadline, Anaconda withdrew its proposal for the Goldboro mine from the environmental assessment process. Hammond said Nova Scotia Environment advised the company to withdraw it because of the planned changes.

The company plans to submit a new environmental assessment before the end of this month.

The original plan called for construction to begin in 2020 and for production to wrap up in 2029. Hammond said that timeline hasn't changed.

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About the Author

Frances Willick is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. Please contact her with feedback, story ideas or tips at frances.willick@cbc.ca

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