Digging for gold on the Medway River Road

·2 min read

Motorists driving along Medway River Road may have encountered something unusual on their commute earlier this month.

The Halifax-based Atlantic Gold Corp., a division of St. Barbara Ltd. of Australia, was digging for samples of minerals along the road for a few days.

Dustin O’Leary, a spokesperson for Atlantic Gold, said that, while it’s not unusual for the company to be exploring for gold, often locations are out of public view.

“Atlantic Gold has been in operation for almost 15 years, and has been undertaking small-scale exploration drilling programs since that time,” he reported in an e-mail. “All exploration efforts are permitted by the Province of Nova Scotia and inspected to ensure satisfactory completion.”

Atlantic Gold, which was purchased by St. Barbara Ltd. in 2019, operates the Moose River Gold Mine near Middle Musquodoboit and is looking to develop three additional gold mines.

According to Nova Scotia’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, the company has several permits allowing right-of -way access for various locations in southwest Nova Scotia for exploratory purposes.

“At this time, we are completing small-scale drilling operations to gain a better understanding of the geological makeup of other areas of the province,” explained O’Leary. “There are no mines proposed beyond that of Beaver Dam, Fifteen Mile Stream and Cochrane Hill, situated on the Eastern Shore. The company builds an annual exploration program and implements that program accordingly,” he said.

So why were they exploring along Medway River Road?

“Current and historical geological surveys of the province lead to areas that our company, or others doing the same work, would like to learn more about,” hinted O’Leary, adding that results of the drilling would not be available for several months.

Nova Scotia has a long history of gold mining that began in 1861, taking in areas such as Kejimkujik, Mill Village, Western Head and Molega Lake. Since then, the province has produced more than one million ounces of gold.

Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin