Nova Scotia

Owner of Cape Breton quarry aims to expand operation

Zutphen Resources has filed for environmental assessment for an expansion of the Rhodena quarry from four hectares to 17 hectares.

If approved, Rhodena quarry would grow from 4 to 17 hectares

The Rhodena quarry expansion would serve the local market, the provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department, Ideal Concrete and other local contractors.

The owner of a Cape Breton aggregate quarry is hoping to expand the facility to about four times its current size.

Right now, the Rhodena quarry, located about 20 kilometres north of Port Hastings near Rhodena and Queensville, is four hectares. The owner, Southwest Mabou-based Zutphen Resources, has registered for an environmental assessment for an expansion to 17 hectares.

The quarry has operated since 1992. 

If approved, the expansion would start early next year and extend the life of the operation for 20 years.

'Good corporate neighbour'

Bob Belyea has lived less than two kilometres away from the facility for years. He said the operation has been a "good corporate neighbour."

"I'm the only one within the two-mile radius and it hasn't been bothering me," he said. "Now and then I hear them unloading the crusher."

Belyea joked that there are so many quarries around Nova Scotia that "before too long we're going to have to go down to the Eastern Seaboard to see part of Nova Scotia, they're hauling so much away."

The environmental assessment registration said the business would serve the local market, the provincial Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Department, Ideal Concrete and other local contractors.

Effects on environment

As part of the registration for environmental assessment, the company was required to explore possible effects on the environment. The registration document said no significant environmental effects are expected from the expansion after mitigation measures are implemented.

Five wetlands and one ephemeral stream — a stream that only exists during and immediately after precipitation — are expected to be lost to the expansion, but "these residual environmental effects have been determined to be not significant," the document said.

At a public consultation meeting in March, only six people showed up, the document notes.

At least one resident at the meeting expressed concern about silt and gravel entering nearby MacMaster Brook. The company said it will install a settling pond to divert run-off away from the brook.

The registration document was filed to the province on June 16. Residents can submit comments until July 17. The province has until Aug. 8 to make a decision.