SPRINGHILL – Could the days of coal mining in Springhill make a comeback?
Mayor Max Snow confirmed he has learned a private feasibility study is taking place to look at possible coal extraction in or near Springhill, but does not know to full extent of the details.
According to the mayor, a consultant for Nova Construction of Antigonish was conducting interviews at a number of homes on lower Junction Road, but could not pinpoint the exact location where coal extraction is being considered or if it would even be within town limits.
“One can only go out so far before they’re into the county,” Snow said. “I do understand there’s a possibility of creating 40 job over the next four years.”
Snow confirmed the land in question is privately owned and he has been in contact with a representative for Nova Construction.
One Junction Road resident contacted The Citizen-Record to say they were contacted by the consultant and said they were asked about the foundation of their home, leading them to believe the potential coal extraction could be conducted by open surface mining. Nova Construction presently operates the Pioneer Coal Mine in Stellarton, an open surface mine and the only operational coalmine left in the province.
At this stage, Snow said, he’s still waiting for further dialogue with the firm to determine their intent and for the town to express any of its concerns.
“We’re waiting on the facts,” Snow said. “We don’t think they would want to make the residents feel uncomfortable… I’m all for creating jobs here, but I’m also here to protect residents. But I would like to see something that creates 40 jobs.”
The town will be part of the feasibility process, Snow said, because of its geothermal interests in the former mines beneath the community, which are protected under the Nova Scotia Mineral Act.
A request for comment from Nova Construction was unfulfilled by press time.