Earlier this week, the Cape Breton Regional Municipality removed a Council agenda item to consider the sale of municipal property that Nova Copper has been leasing now for many years.
Because the Cape Breton Post did not contact our company for comment on this decision and the concerns expressed by some CBRM residents, I wanted to offer some facts as to what our company is up to and why.
Our company recognizes that other forms of mining have not been done well in the past, which is perhaps linked to current concerns. We have been very open about our plans, with a public website that has been outlining our plans for the last three years, and potentially for the next five years. I have also been in conversations with local residents since 2006, and in consultation with a director on the board of the newly formed Keep Coxheath Clean since 2008. This group, which only came into existence in the last two weeks, did not contact us and went straight to media with fears and concerns.
We respect and understand that some people in the community are concerned and we are happy to continue to engage with the community, including with new groups like Keep Coxheath Clean. We are also grateful for the many local residents who have reached out to express their support for the positive work our company is doing.
We look forward to having more conversations and dialogue in the weeks and months to come. It’s unfortunate that Keep Coxheath Clean is making false statements about a 30 square km mine. This is simply not true.
As for watershed areas, the municipality enforces a strict no-go drilling protections under our existing lease agreements with CBRM. It is false to claim that our current or planned work have and will put watersheds at risk.
For the last number of years, Nova Copper has been very focused on the rebuilding of the extensive geological databases and our understanding of the mineral claims and licenses. We have also been reinterpreting historical data, and reanalyzing drill core and previous studies and reports to determine whether there is sufficient copper to proceed with a request under provincial regulations to mine for the copper and other byproduct metals.
It’s important to note that all the drilling core historically and up until now is extremely small, are only the size of a coffee cup or (3.5 to 5 cms) in diameter. We have safely conducted these measures on land that we lease from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Our findings to date have been very encouraging.
In order to fight climate change and bring down greenhouse gas emissions, locally, provincially, and globally, we need copper. Clean, renewable, ethical energy needs a lot of raw minerals and materials, including copper, a main 'critical mineral'. For example, one ton of copper offsets 7500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. We need copper for wind turbines, solar panels, all electric cars, and energy efficient homes.
It is the law of Nova Scotia to be coal-free by 2030. We therefore need to dramatically increase renewable energy– including solar and onshore and offshore wind – to replace coal-fired electricity.
Replacing coal in Nova Scotia means we need to have the minerals to do that.
Where will we get these critical minerals, like copper?
China produces the majority of the world’s copper and production is slow to come back following COVID. Other major copper producers are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mongolia and Russia. In our complex world, it is vital to source the copper we need for renewable energy projects here at home.
Last year, the Government of Canada stepped up with a $4 billion critical minerals strategy to increase our supply for domestic and export purposes of products that we need to support the transition to renewable energy.
While these lands have a history of copper mining, at this point, we don’t know the full extent of available copper. Our next phase of drilling, whether under lease or by owning the land, is to invest between $6-$10 million to conduct what’s called “definition drilling” on these lands.
Definition drilling is a common practice and is done according to the strictest environmental standards. There are currently 175 small drill holes. Over 70% of these drill hole meterage has been done under my management. There has been reclamation of each and every drill hole under my management, so much so that drill holes are actually hard to find due to the exceptional site management by the local team that we employed.
We don’t know how extensive copper mining will be, but step one to making an evidence-based decision is to continue to do the definition drilling.
Nova Copper does and will continue to meet and exceed any and all environmental protections put in place by the Government of Nova Scotia. We are committed to clean, modern exploration standards and if we ever do apply and receive an approval to mine, all the highest standards of environment, health and safety will always be first and foremost.
The world needs copper now for energy transition and to combat climate change. Let’s all do our part.
As a child growing up, I spent many a time visiting Cape Breton. I graduated from Cape Breton University and I invested in Nova Copper and its assets in Cape Breton because I believe in Cape Bretoners and the Island’s future.
I am here and have been for the long haul and want any project I’m associated with to be one that future generations can be proud of.
President & CEO
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