ATV 0.00% 2.0¢ atlantic gold nl

undervalued but not for much longer

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    More signs that Atlantic gold are very thorough and know what they are doing.


    Gold mine project: for the record

    By WALLY BUCKNELL
    Sat. Feb 23 - 7:00 AM

    On Feb. 1, the Touquoy Gold Project at Moose River Gold Mines was approved by Environment and Labour Minister Mark Parent. The project was approved because it clearly meets all of Nova Scotia’s environmental laws and standards. Also, the project has earned the strong support of the people in the area.

    For the project proponent, DDV Gold Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlantic Gold NL, this approval was the culmination of over four years and several million dollars worth of diligent and wide-ranging environmental work and comprehensive community consultation.

    DDV Gold Ltd. determined that the project was commercially viable, environmentally sustainable and was supported by the people of the Eastern Shore and Musquodoboit Valley. This process was costly, lengthy and from the outset, there was no guarantee of approval. After careful review of that process and its results, and consultation with relevant government officials, Mr. Parent made his decision that the project should go forward.

    In the three weeks since the project’s approval, however, some commentators have chosen to dispute the minister’s decision.

    Regrettably, most of these commentators make no reference to the source material for that decision. We refer to our Environmental Assessment Registration Document (EARD) and Focus Report submitted for public scrutiny in March and November 2007, respectively. Instead, they rely on the demonstrably inaccurate criticisms of some members of Eastern Shore Forest Watch, a group which represents the views of only a select number of people of the area.

    Last fall, as part of an extensive community consultation program, we commissioned an independent public opinion study of the residents of the Musquodoboit Valley and the Eastern Shore. The project is located in the middle of this area. We found solid support for our project: over 80 per cent in the Musquodoboit Valley, 75 per cent in the Sheet Harbour area, and 61 per cent in the Eastern Shore. We also consulted with and listened to scores of community groups and individuals. As a result, we made many environmental improvements to our original proposal. In short, we know what the majority of the people think about this project.

    We are proud of our environmentally compatible, state-of-the-art project that will provide approximately 150 well-paying, clean jobs for Nova Scotians in Nova Scotia. We expect that most employees will be from the local area and some will be Nova Scotians who can return home from Alberta – we’re already receiving their job applications. All this at a time when many rural-based industries in Nova Scotia are experiencing a severe downturn and accompanying job losses.

    While this particular project has a five- to seven-year mine life for 150 full-time jobs (the mining sector is the highest paying resource sector in the province) there will be a two to three times spin-off effect for the service sector. This project will, we believe, demonstrate that commercially viable, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible gold mining can happen in Nova Scotia.

    Some critics claim "the company was allowed to hire a consultant to do its own environmental assessment." No, the assessment is undertaken by Environment and Labour, not by the company’s consultants. The company has indeed engaged a number of highly qualified, professional and specialized consulting firms, mostly local, to assist it in designing a project that meets or exceeds the very strict federal and provincial environmental standards. This material is then put in an EARD and Focus Report for review by government regulators and the minister. That is how the process works.

    We have proven to the satisfaction of the minister of environment and labour and the relevant communities that there are no remaining concerns about downstream effects. The lengths to which our project design addresses water-quality issues are unprecedented in the history of mining development in Nova Scotia. We have met with Transport Canada and community leaders in Truro regarding cyanide transport. We have assured them our plans are consistent with current best practices of transportation of hazardous goods. We will be continuing to meet with, listen to and inform interested people as we move towards mine development.

    Some critics of the Touquoy Gold Project appear to be unfamiliar with modern, well-regulated mining activity and are unwilling to acknowledge its benefits. DDV Gold is intent on developing and operating a modern gold mine of which the company, its employees and the community can be proud. The process to be used is entirely conventional and is employed in all 15 of Canada’s gold mines and some 450 gold mines worldwide. The mine will employ multi-stage processes to ensure the high quality of water released back to the environment, with highly regulated and transparent monitoring and mitigation measures. It will meet or exceed the world’s best environmental practices.

    Remember that every time we eat a meal, brush our teeth, drive a car, use a computer or engage in most activities of daily living, we use metals and materials that come from a mine. So while we welcome questions and concerns about our project, we hope that individuals check the facts before they jump into the public forum with untruths.

    Wally Bucknell is CEO of Atlantic Gold NL.
 
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