A Letter to the Editor in the March 20 edition of The Reporter asked “What is the Mining Association of Nova Scotia up to?” so I am writing to provide an answer.

The Mining Association of Nova Scotia is proposing that the provincial government fund a project called Minerals Play Fairway (MPF); $19.5 million in surveys that would improve our geological knowledge of the province. The data collected would help find future mines and quarries and create jobs for Nova Scotians.

MPF is modelled on the oil and gas play fairway, arguably the most successful economic development project in the province’s history. A $15 million government investment in surveys generated over $2 billion in investment in Nova Scotia’s offshore industry.

While the mining industry’s focus is on job creation, there are many other health, safety and environmental benefits of MPF. MPF would help find areas with potential for sinkholes. Sinkholes like the one in Oxford are usually caused by minerals naturally eroding in groundwater, which eventually causes the ground above to collapse. Identifying areas with higher potential for sinkholes would help the provincial and municipal governments with land-use planning and keep Nova Scotians and our infrastructure safe.

MPF would help identify areas with elevated uranium levels so governments can better-manage exposure to radon and uranium in well water. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer – an estimated 114 Nova Scotians die from exposure to it each year.

MPF would also help find and manage underground water sources, which is so important as we deal with impacts from climate change. It would identify areas with potential for acid rock drainage so we can avoid ARD when doing construction. Its data would help find evidence of past human activities so it would be helpful for archeology and preserving our heritage.

More details on the health, safety and environmental benefits of MPF are at: https://mrans.ca/safety-environmental-benefits.

Minerals Play Fairway would be a strategic investment in helping the mining and quarrying industry grow and create jobs for Nova Scotians. It would also generate important health, safety and environmental benefits.

Sean Kirby

executive director

Mining Association

of Nova Scotia