PORT HOOD: The Mining Association of Nova Scotia isn’t looking for funds from Inverness County, but the association is looking for council’s support in lobbying the provincial government for a healthy chunk of change.

“The request is to support a plan they have to do a Mineral Play Fairway project,” said Warden Betty Ann MacQuarrie. “They’re asking for provincial government funding for a geophysical survey program. There’s no entry into the ground; it’s all above ground. They are somehow able to tell where the minerals are without going into the ground.

“They are looking for our support in applying for $19.5 million in government funding. They aren’t asking us for it, I hope.”

Council was asked to support the mining association’s request at the regular meeting on February 7. The association had sent council a letter on the matter.

The association maintains the project would improve geological understanding of Nova Scotia, help find future mines and quarries, and lead to better land, water, and environmental management. The project could also be a tool for attracting investment and job creation to the province, the letter said.

“They make it sound pretty good, but that’s a lot of money to ask for,” MacQuarrie said. She noted that the industry employs 55,000 Nova Scotians and generates 420 million per year in economic activity, as was pointed out by the association.

Councillor Jim Mustard pointed out that he wasn’t sure how the information gathered by the Mineral Play Fairway project adds anything to what’s already known by geographical mapping of the province.

Councillor Laurie Cranton noted that any issue regarding the environment can cause quite a debate, “so we can’t just jump into it and write a letter of support for something that could be looked at in a different context later on.”

As a result of the discussion, council will look for more information on the project before either endorsing the project or not lending support.