Former Mining Watch Canada program coordinator Ramsey Hart shocks Tatamagouche audience

Community Online First

Sustainable Northern Nova Scotia (SuNNS) provided North Shore Nova Scotia residents with a rare educational event on “The Basics of Gold Mining” featuring former Mining Watch Canada’s Ramsey Hart.

Hart appeared by Skype from Perth, Ont.

“The purpose of having Ramsey present was so that residents could understand the process of gold mining exploration and mining development. SuNNS is committed to fairly presenting the possible risks and rewards if gold mining exploration and development happens in the Warwick Mountain area near Tatamagouche,” noted organizer Kathryn Anderson.

During the presentation, Ramsey answered prepared questions and provided additional time to take questions from the audience. Hegave a general overview of mining practices and risks and this confirmed some of the audiences concerns around water quality, cyanide use, trucking of concentrate etc.

Anderson said the shocking moment for the audience came when Ramsey was asked if he was aware of any other proposed or functioning gold mines in a municipal watershed. Was there a precedent for making such a dangerous decision?  It was explained that the French River Watershed is the sole watershed for Tatamagouche municipal water. Ramsey expressed surprise at hearing this question saying, “Putting a gold mine in a municipal watershed should be a non-starter. The idea is if you are going to protect a watershed for drinking then mining doesn’t really have any place in it.”

Anderson says, “There will be more educational events regarding gold mining exploration or development in the future. Residents from the 37 Colchester and Cumberland County communities possibly affected will be invited as gold mine exploration and development on Warwick Mountain could impact seven area watersheds.”