Nova Scotia

Minister wants more info on proposed changes to N.S. gold mine

Environment Minister Tim Halman says he needs more information from Atlantic Gold on proposed changes to its Touquoy mine site in Moose River, N.S., in order for him to make a decision.

Atlantic Gold wants to store tailings in open mining pit

The Touquoy mine site in Moose River, operated by Atlantic Mining N.S. Inc., better known as Atlantic Gold. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

Nova Scotia's environment minister says he still does not have enough information from Atlantic Gold to make a decision on proposed changes to its Touquoy mine site in Moose River, N.S.

In a letter sent to Atlantic Gold on Thursday, Tim Halman requested more information on water modelling, the project's impact on ground and surface water, mitigation measures to prevent the potential contamination of Moose River, historic tailings, and fish and fish habitat.

The company wants to store the tailings — the material that remains after ore has been processed for gold — in the open mining pit because its current storage area is expected to run out of room.

The pit would be allowed to fill with water, according to the plan, and eventually seep out into the Moose River. The company says it would treat the water before it is discharged into the river.

Atlantic Gold also wants to expand the designated storage area for waste rock, move an access road and allow the company to extract clay from more of its land.

The tailings storage area at Atlantic Gold's mine in Moose River. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

The province also requested more information last September subsequent to the company submitting a plan for changes to the mine in July.

The minister's letter included a request for more information on the geology of the site and how fault zones would be sealed to prevent leakage into the Moose River.

Atlantic Gold has one year to submit the requested information as an addendum to the original document, according to the letter. The minister has 50 days to make a decision.

The letter said once the addendum is registered, a public notice will be published and there will be a 30-day public comment period.

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