Citizens Against Strip Mining
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Pioneer Coal Limited
Prince Mine Project
Point Aconi
Boularderie Island
Cape Breton, NS

3 April 2006
Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor placed a three-year development moratorium on 13 potential strip mine sites in Cape Breton but stopped short of a complete ban when he announced a "scaled-back" version of a surface mine in the works for Boularderie Island.

"We have a new premier in Nova Scotia and itís very important to all Nova Scotia that we do land reclamation and surface mining correctly and we think we can make this particular site a flagship, so to speak." - Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor

"The Point Aconi project will be a test case for government. Over the next three years we will be able to see how land can be reclaimed in a positive fashion." - Environment Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson

April 28, 2006
The province will establish a scientific research program to study surface mining sites and land reclamation. A committee of experts representing the mining industry, academia, government, and research and public interest groups will review scientific literature, ecological studies and recommendations for test vegetation plots, among other issues, it said in a draft of the plan.

"This government wants to ensure the best management practices are employed at all surface mining sites in the future and that is recognizing and acknowledging that there has been some trouble at existing sites that havenít been reclaimed to their full potential". "Itís fairly obvious that on those sites remediation hasnít taken place".
- Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor

3 May 2006
"I can guarantee you the bond is a significant amount and itís enough to make sure that should the proponent default, there will be adequate finances in place to do the necessary remediation"
- NSDNR Minister Brooke Taylor, who wouldnít disclose the amount of the bond for the Point Aconi project during a closed-door news conference at a Sydney hotel.

"In 2005, clean up of the Prince site was estimated by Devco to cost $6.6 million. The site has been transferred to the private sector for a planned mining operation. Mining will result in the site being remediated during the mining/reclamation operation. As a result, no moneys were allocated to the clean-up of the site."
- Gary Lunn, federal Minister of Natural Resources Canada

"The sale of the Cape Breton Development Corporation's (Devco) land at the Prince mine site to Pioneer Coal did not trigger a federal environmental assessment because Devco was not subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act at the time of the conveyance" (6 June 2006).

11 May 2006
"It is abundantly clear that the land on this property is in a derelict state, from years of underground mining and bootlegging. There can be no question that a significant effort is required to return this property to a safe and productive state, and it remains my conviction that the best means to effect this is to allow the remaining coal to be recovered, and to allow this recovery to pay for the remediation."- Premier Rodney MacDonald

17 May 2006
"At the end of the day, this issue is about cleaning up those sites and finding the best way to do it and in the environmentally right way as well... We will find that balance between cleaning it up and remediation, and providing jobs which is good for the economy."
- Premier Rodney MacDonald

12 September 2006

"The open surface mine will remove dangerous deep holes from previous mining activity which are currently a threat to wildlife."
- Summary of Industrial Approval

Pursuant to Part V of the Environment Act, S.N.S. 1994-95, c.1 as amended from time to time, approval is granted to the Proponent subject to the Terms and Conditions attached to and forming part of this Approval, for the following activity: Construction and operation of a Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project, and associated works, at or near Point Aconi, Cape Breton County, in the Province of Nova Scotia.


Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour
Environmental Monitoring and Compliance Division

Schedule L - Page 1 to Approval 2006-051995


a) The proponent shall post a security in a form acceptable to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and in the amount as required by NSDNR .

b) The proponent shall ensure that the Department's "Guide to Surface Coal Mine Reclamation Plans" and as amended from time to time is adhered to as part of the site reclamation activities.

c) The Proponent shall ensure the progressive rehabilitation plan as described in

Tab 16 - Surface Coal Mine and Reclamation Project- Prince Mine Site Point Aconi, Nova Scotia Volume 1 - section 7.3 and section 7.3.2

Tab 17 - Industrial Approval Application Supporting Document -section 11.3, 12.0 and 12.1; and Figures 11 -1, and 12-1.

The rehabilitation plan shall be revised and updated every third year from the effective date of the approval and submitted to the Department for review and approval by the Department,

d) The Department reserves the right to impose additional bonding requirements as may be required by the Department.

e) Upon cessation of coal extraction operations, the proponent shall apply for an approval to commence final reclamation of the site.

f) The Proponent shall deal with the reinstatement of Mill Pond Road in consultation with the Department of Transportation and Public Works as part of the final reclamation of the site.

Schedule E Condition (a): The proponent shall provide proof of surface rights and/or access rights to the Department, prior to any activity within the prescribed footprint as described in "Site Plan" - Figure 1-2

30 October 2006
Party at the Prince with more Police anyone knew existed!

(Copy censored by FOIPOP)

17 November 2006
"Prior to any mining activity proceeding on the site, the proponent must post a bond for approximately $5 million with NSDNR to cover issues related to restoration and final reclamation. This would ensure future generations do not pay the cost of restoration of the site."
- Environment Minister Mark Parent in dismissing citizen's Appeal of his Industrial Approval

7 January 2007

30 January 2007
Pioneer Coal on Monday voluntarily stopped building an access road to its strip mine site on Boularderie Island after government launched an investigation of the road. Environment Department spokesman Bill Nunn confirmed it asked Pioneer to stop the road project after an inspector noticed last week it was being built on top of a previously unidentified wetlands area that had not been approved when a mining permit was issued last year.
What else didn't they know about prior to issuing approval?

12 March 2007
"The Governor in Council on the report and recommendation of the Minister of Natural Resources dated February 21, 2007 is pleased to approve the issuance of a lease by the Minister of Natural Resources of a parcel of Crown land containing 61.24 hectares, situated at Point Aconi in the County of Cape Breton to Pioneer Coal Limited for the purpose of surface mining for coal and the placement of infrastructure necessary to develop and operate a surface coal mine and for no other purpose, for a term of ten (10) years at the annual rent to be calculated by multiplying the appraised market value of the land by 10%."

----- Original Message -----
From: CASM
To: NSEL Monitoring & Compliance Coordinator
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 4:19 PM
Subject: Re: Mine status

So to confirm, contrary to what someone in the Environment Dept told one of our group today, the permits have not been issued and the bonds have not been paid yet and it's not about to happen any day now?

So why are they closing Sherie Lee Lane if these issues still have to be resolved before mining can proceed or the wetlands disturbed?

----- Original Message -----
From: NSEL Monitoring & Compliance Coordinator
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:41 AM
Subject: Re: Mine status???

The most current information I have is the bonding is not in place.

There are other outstanding issues that must be resolved ie: wetlands etc.

The closing of Sherri Lee is a DOT & PW issue. It is included in the Industrial Approval and the timing of such is between PC & DOT&PW. I don't know why it was closed now other than to suggest PC required it to further prepare its site.
As I said in an earlier message I will be watching to ensure all that is required in the Industrial Approval is in place prior to the commencement of mining. Your photos depicit what some may consider mining, ie: the removal of overburden and exposing coal but I'm informed that they have not as yet reached the stage that would qualify as mining. This too will be monitored.

27 June 2007
"It is NSEL's analysis once Pioneer Coal is ready to mine coal or extract a `bulk sample', it is then that Pioneer Coal must be in compliance with the Terms and Conditions of the Approval." - District Manager Mark Farrell

3 July 2007
Environment Minister Mark Parent told the crowd gathered at Point Aconi that Sherie Lee Lane "would be re-opened", that all "the bonds have been paid", and they're just "cleaning up the Prince Mine"

This is still just "preparing for mining". The pillars of coal around former bootleg mining areas "are not to be removed until all permits & bonding is in place".

"Although you are correct that coal mining is not proposed for at least part of the area that was inhabited by the Prince Mine infrastructure, the clean up of the area occupied by this infrastructure is very much part of the Pioneer proposal. A reading of the Environmental Assessment document shows that this area, although it will not be mined, will be cleaned up and reclaimed as part of the operation."
- DNR Minister Brooke Taylor, 29 May 2006

17 August 2007

28 August 2007

9 September 2007

Go! See for yourself

Is your community next?

DNR's moratorium on "reclamation" of the other sites on DNR's map expires April 2009 when strip mining, under the obviously false pretext of "cleaning up", will come on stream across the region and provincewide if something doesn't change!!!

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Revised: 07/27/08 21:05:06.