The Prospectors Plight

Posted by : Emily | On : November 15, 2013

The Nova Scotia government has recently made two decisions detrimental to prospectors in Nova Scotia.

The first issue is the significant increase in claim-staking fees. Based on the per-hectare price of land, Nova Scotia prospectors were already at a severe disadvantage compared to other provinces – this disadvantage was increased by 75% as of August 26th, 2013.

Claim Fees v2.001

Prospectors, as well as small exploration companies, do not receive any income from leasing and working their mineral claims. However, they do have significant expenditures within rural Nova Scotia including accommodation, food, fuel, supply and equipment purchases or rentals, and procurement of services and labour. The only chance a prospector has at making money is if they do their ‘homework’, stake valuable ground, and work hard to find serious mineral potential. Not all of the lands chosen offer mineral potential, and if it doesn’t have a potential future value the venture will be an economic loss to the prospector or small exploration company.

The NSPA would like the new government to investigate the differences between the various parties of the mining sector and cancel the unjust increases to mineral claim-staking fees. Nova Scotia prospectors can not afford these barriers to exploration.


The second issue deals with protecting the 12%+. Of course the prospectors of Nova Scotia are behind this initiative, and think it is extremely important to protect this extraordinary province. However, it seems it has been easier for the government to simply convert existing crown land into ‘protected’ status instead of seeking out unique and ecologically important tracts of land across Nova Scotia. Also, the 12% has already turned into 13% and is headed higher and higher.

Protected Lands v7.001

Crown lands are the most available lands to which prospectors, who are small business owners working in Nova Scotia, can perform their job creating and income generating activities. Crown lands in Nova Scotia are extremely scarce, in particular when compared to all of the other mining provinces and territories of Canada, therefore the erosion of these Crown lands are detrimental to prospectors.

The Nova Scotia Prospectors Association (NSPA) is lobbying for a cap to be placed on the amount of Crown land the government can permanently remove from economic use. For more information, please visit the NSPA.