Nova Scotia

Province approves quarry expansion in Cape Breton

The Rhodena aggregate quarry will expand from four to 17 hectares.

Rhodena aggregate quarry to expand from 4 to 17 hectares

A proposed quarry expansion in Cape Breton has received approval from the provincial Environment Department.

The aggregate quarry, located about 20 kilometres north of Port Hastings near Rhodena and Queensville, is four hectares now, but the owner, Southwest Mabou-based Zutphen Resources, requested environmental approval in June for an expansion to 17 hectares.

Environment Minister Iain Rankin approved the expansion on Thursday.

The green light comes with a number of conditions.

For example, no quarry activities can take place within 30 metres of a watercourse or wetland, unless approved, or within 20 metres of an archaeological site.

The company must develop a monitoring program for groundwater and plans for erosion and sedimentation control, blasting and reclamation.

It must also must create a wildlife management strategy, including plans to protect bird breeding and nesting areas and mitigate effects on wood turtles, snapping turtles, common nighthawk and other migratory birds.

The conditions also include provisions that the company not excavate below the water table and replace any water supply that is lost or damaged.

The quarry has operated since 1992. 

In its application for environmental approval, the company said the expansion would start early next year and extend the life of the operation by 20 years.