I am STRONGLY OPPOSED to this project.

Reference Number

The proposed site for the Beaver Dam Mine Project is incredibly reckless and irresponsible from an environmental standpoint.

The proximity to the West River watershed, as well as traditional Mi’Kma’ki lands, to this Open-Pit desecration of our environment is of immense concern.

The long-term environmental impact on this site, for short-term gains, would be detrimental, regardless of the companies’ promised remediation plans.


For almost 20 years, the Nova Scotia Salmon Association has been working to restore the population of salmonid species in the West River of Sheet Harbour. This began with establishing North America’s first lime-doser, a Norwegian innovation that balances the pH of the waters. By introducing measured amounts of lime to the watershed, the accumulated effects of industrial expansion along the Eastern Seaboard from decades of acidic rains are  neutralised, creating a habitat that encourages spawning, activity, and an environment that fish can thrive in. Population surveys began in 2005, and by 2010 smolt counts had tripled. https://wrweo.ca/wrweo2014/AqHabWQ/lit/limeDoser.html


The proposed creation of an open pit mine just upstream from the doser site would be foolish. The idea of disrupting nearly 20 years of proven scientific study for the short-term economic gains of an international company with a track-record of environmental abuse is rash and careless. Even a minimal environmental error upon Atlantic Mining’s part would mean detrimental long-term local effects, with no guarantee from the parent company that the Killag and West River Watershed would recover. 


Atlantic Mining’s expected operational water usage for their 5-year plan is a major cause for concern. 

After many years of man-made environmental changes along the river, such as clear-cutting, river-damming, and development along its waterways, these incremental changes have all meant that summer months are especially difficult for water levels. And as a result, local species suffer.

During the months of July and August, the Upper West River and its Killag tributary have been noted to lack the necessary water volume to properly support both depth and the resulting cooler water, to encourage salmonid spawning within the northern reaches of the riverbed. 

Any encumbrance upon water-flow would have a negative effect downstream, creating a domino-effect upon every species that rely upon this ecosystem.


Efforts have been made to remediate these low-water levels by creating terrestrial berms .. These proactive restoration endeavours, like those created through the assistance of NSLC’s Adopt-A-Stream, have helped restore a more natural flow to the river.

Increasing depth, shoals, and refraction points that benefit spawning grounds for all species that use the river system are all primary goals for these projects,

and any reduction to the overall volume of the naturally occurring water along the Killag and West River can only be considered as negative.


In the event of a breach of their pit-wall, Atlantic Mining’s operations would catastrophically drain all the river’s water for an extended period of time, creating an extinction event for many species that live downstream. 


Another issue with Atlantic Mining’s proposition is the elimination of public access to the ‘Haul Road’ that connects Marinette to Mooseland. Recreational usage of that network has been an intrinsic part of life for many in the area. 


The footprint of the suggested site at first glance doesn't relay the scope of the environmental impact. The proximity to the habitat restoration efforts made to date and the fragility of the ecosystem therein, makes this proposed project sound thoughtless and imprudent. 

There is strong empirical evidence that the efforts of private sponsorship and government funding is making a difference to all species that live within the West River system. There have been countless hours logged by volunteers to assist with the many projects designed to benefit the ecosystem of the watershed. The innumerable hours and economic investment of so many organisations that have gone into the mitigation of man-made effects upon the environment will be for not, if this irresponsible project were to come to fruition. 


I live on the West River. I use the waterway for recreation frequently. I have been a member of the Eastern Shore Wildlife Association for many years, and have assisted with the West River Acid Rain Mitigation Project with many volunteer hours. I have seen first-hand the passion and care that everyone puts into their work and its lasting effects. The proposed Beaver Dam Mine Project will undoubtedly jeopardize the stability of this ecosystem.


I want to stress that this isn't a typical case of “Not-In-My-Back-Yard”. I’ve grown up in the area, and recognize the importance of economic opportunities, and local sources for employment. But having said this, I am firmly against this project and believe that the environmental risk to the area is not worth it.


Respectfully Submitted,

  George Purcell


Submitted by
Eastern Shore Wildlife Association
Public Notice
Public Notice - Public Comments Invited on a Revised Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement
Comment Tags
Air Quality Light Noise Climate change Accidental Events / Malfunctions Weather Events / Flooding / Hazards Fish and Fish Habitat Species at Risk Wildlife / Habitat Groundwater Quantity / Flow Groundwater Quality Soil Surface Water Quantity Surface Water Quality General opposition to project Fishing Recreation Tourism Trapping Visual Aesthetics Hunting Human Health and Well-Being Harvesting and managing of trees and plants Cumulative effects Biodiversity Terrestrial Plants Current Use of Lands and Resources for Traditional Purposes by Indigenous Peoples Indigenous Rights Spiritual, Physical and Cultural Heritage Land and Resource Use / Tenure
Date Submitted
2021-12-17 - 9:06 PM
Date modified: