Beaver Dam Mine - Environmental Disaster, not if, but when?

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It is in the best interests of Nova Scotians, it's biodiversity, water and air that the proposed Atlantic Gold Beaver Dam open-pit gold mine is NEVER BUILT for the following reasons:

     This mine will exacerbate climate change consequences, as on the average, for every ounce of gold, 1 ton of greenhouse gases is emitted into the atmosphere. In 2019, Atlantic gold produced 93,000 ounces of gold in Moose River, emitting 93,000 tons of C02. 2020 gold production 106,663 tons of C02.  This is from 1 mine only.  What of the 3 new mines proposed, including Beaver Dam?  Exponential heating of the planet due to unacceptable ESG practices is not inline with Nova Scotia's Emissions Reductions Plan.  We are in a climate emergency and cannot continue raising our emissions when we should be stopping unnecessary emissions altogether.  There is already enough gold in the world for essential purposes. Extracting more is based on greed for profit.

Climate change in Nova Scotia is expected to bring more extreme rainfall and storm flooding, and more frequent and extreme storms according to provincial and federal reports.  Because of this there is an enormous risk of silt runoff and toxic tailings ponds breaching which could potentially carry poisonous arsenic and contaminaed slurry downstream from the Killag River, to the West River and down into the Atlantic Ocean at Sheet Harbour.  Atlantic Gold already has 26 alleged violations of silt releases (siltration) from it's nearby mine in Tourquoy. According to it's industrial approval, section 7 states that  "Atlantic Gold did not develop this mine and all it's infrastructure to prevent environmental problems and mitigate prevention of "siltration" of the surface water discharged into water courses, of surface water contaminents runoff and from tailings ponds."  There are strong chances that the Beaver Dam mine is built following the same low standards of environmental risk mitigation. Along this water system live a great variety of organisms, including the wild Atlantic Salmon in the process of restoration after several years of work through an intensive joint project made possible with billions of public and private dollars invested. The salmon population has since tripled after de-acidifying the rivers nearby the Beaver Dam mine site, with Lime-Dosers.  These machines inject specific amounts of lime at a frequency determined by testing the water's ph creating just the right conditions for proliferation of the fish species. The Beaver Dam mine would be constucted just upstream from the Doser and would put in peril all the years of work to bring back the Atlantic Salmon and other species to spawn and grow in these rivers.

The construction of this new mine would immediately destroy a 30ha. area of forest ecosystem and habitat to numerous diverse species.  It already sources millions of litres of clean water from local Scraggy Lake, where which the effluent of the mines tailing flows back into, for it's operations. This quantity multiplied by 3, Beaver Dam being one on the list of new mines, is taking essential water out of the system, polluting it, then putting it back in the system.  This is a reckless industry!  Mountains of transported waste rock would be piled up at Touquoy following processing, from the 3 other planned mines (including Beaver Dam).  It takes an average 20,000 tons. of rock and soil to make one gold ring!  This waste is preposterous along with the massive tailings ponds and huge 170m. deep craters they will create. The noise and dust created by heavy-hauling dumptrucks of rock ore driving the 30 or so kms. from Beaver Dam to Touquoy every 2 1/2 minutes for 4-6 years would be a great disturbance to people, animals and plants on the route between the 2 mines.  The whole ecosystem and hydraulic system of the surrounding area would become imbalanced  and unhealthy from the added pressure of this proposed mine. 

The Extractive Sector Transparancy Measures Act shows that Atlantic Gold did not pay any taxes to the federal or provincial government in 2017, 2018, 2019 or 2020. Everybody has to pay taxes, why this unfair exception to the rule? The province's royalty rate of 1% net value, which by world standards, is very low, means that Nova Scotians are getting the bare minimum from the exploitation of Atlantic Gold's Touqouy mine in Moose River, but have continuously handed Atlantic Gold all sorts of financial incentives from A to Z.  Doing business in our province is really cheap but very profitable for Atlantic Gold. Unfortunately, it is Nova Scotians who end up paying the cost financially and environmentally.  How can this be logical? 

 I believe it would be a grave "HUGE" mistake to open up the Beaver Dam open-pit gold mine.



Submitted by
member Council of Canadians, Cape Breton West Chapter
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on a Revised Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement
Date Submitted
2021-12-14 - 7:31 PM
Date modified: