Net Zero: proposed NS mine receives negative public comments

Welcome to Net Zero, your daily industry newsletter on clean energy and Canadian resource policy.

The head

A joint federal-provincial environmental assessment found that only one of 117 comments submitted regarding the proposed Fifteen Mile Stream mine by Atlantic Gold expressed positive feelings about the project.

The sole supporter of the mine stressed the importance of the project to the economy of the province.

“It is essential that there is a balance between supporting economic growth and ensuring environmental sustainability,” said Nick MacGregor of MacGregors Industrial Group. “Without a healthy and active economy, especially in our rural areas, there are simply far less financial resources available to support environmental improvement projects such as renewable energy, water treatment, wildlife sanctuaries, etc.

Others who sent comments were particularly concerned about the impact of the mine on the environment and wildlife.

“Gold mines are well known for generating highly toxic waste, which inevitably pollutes the region’s watersheds, water sources, soil, flora and fauna, and incredibly disturbs the biosphere. At a time when we need to protect our natural environment, allowing projects like this violates that mandate, ”one commentary read.

Atlantic Gold, a Nova Scotia-based gold mining company, is said to operate the 400-hectare surface mine in Liscomb Game Sanctuary, located 30 kilometers north of Sheet Harbor, Nova Scotia.

In the meantime, Natural Resources Canada has questioned “the adequacy of the proposed mitigation measures related to arsenic and acidifying rocks.” CBC News has more.

Internationally

The French oil company, Total SE, has been renamed TotalEnergies, to reflect its shift towards renewable energies. More than 90% of shareholders voted in favor of the motion at the company’s annual general meeting, BBC News reports.

“We want to become a kind of green energy major,” said CEO Patrick Pouyanné.

Total is the world’s fourth-largest private oil and gas producer and has already committed to net zero emissions by 2050.

Meanwhile, Quadad de Freitas, a 21-year-old indigenous tour guide, and Troy Thomas, a university professor, seek to stop large oil companies’ offshore drilling in Guyana. ExxonMobil is one of those mentioned in their court case.

They argue that “the approval (by the Guyanese government) of petroleum exploration licenses violates the government’s legal obligation to protect their right and the right of future generations to a healthy environment,” writes the Guardian.

“This is a classic public interest case,” said lawyer Melinda Janki, who represents the plaintiffs in court. “In 2001-02, I put pressure on the Guyanese government to have the right to a healthy environment enshrined in the constitution. It is in everyone’s interest to know what the law means if this production of oil amounts to a violation of the right to a healthy environment. It will then be up to the government to decide on the measures to be taken. “

On Monday morning at 9:35 a.m., West Texas Intermediate was trading at US $ 67.34 and Brent Crude at US $ 69.71.

In Canada

The booming lumber market in Canada has allowed members of the Bigstone Cree First Nation of Alberta to reap some of the benefits, says Chief Silas Yellowknee. Bigstone Forestry Inc., the country’s logging company, was granted “the right to harvest 21,000 cubic meters of coniferous wood per year” in early May.

“First Nations have been accused of always asking for documents. We don’t play that kind of game. We try to do the best, ”Chief Yellowknee said in an interview.

In fiscal year 2020-2021, Alberta’s timber rights were approximately $ 350 million, more than triple the $ 99 million earned in 2019-20, according to the Canadian Press.

“(The Forestry Department) analyzed the numbers and said that an increase of about 33% over the annual allowable cut was something we could harvest sustainably and make sure we take preventative measures such as wildfire protection and pest control, ”said Alberta Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, whose department is working on“ ways to use his bounty most efficiently ”.

Although the Alberta Wilderness Association and Chief Arthur Noskey, the Grand Chief of the Treaty 8 First Nations, say the province’s efforts are “potentially damaging to the forest,” Chief Yellowknee believes his part of the forest will be managed properly because of its ownership.

Meanwhile, Canada needs a better electric vehicle (EV) strategy, according to outgoing Sherritt International Corp. CEO David Pathe. Sherritt is a resource company headquartered in Toronto.

“Historically, Canada has been a supplier of raw materials to the world – I think Canada can aspire to be more than that,” Pathe said. “There is a role to play between government and bringing together all industry participants,” from project developers and miners, to tech and research companies and processors, to identify “ bottlenecks ”and help foster an EV battery industry. Bloomberg News has this story.

The Canadian crude index was trading at US $ 51.71 and the Western Canadian Select was trading at US $ 51.60 this morning at 9:35 am.

Remarkable

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