Natural Resources Minister Brooke Taylor has announced a scientific research program to see how surface mine reclamation can support land-use strategies in Nova Scotia. “We know mining plays a significant role in our communities,” said Mr. Taylor. “The key is to find out how we can enhance the reclamation of former mine sites to support future commercial, recreational or residential land uses. I look forward to hearing solid proposals, based on the best science out there, that support Nova Scotia’s goals.” Mr. Taylor said the program will be led by provincial experts who will be invited to sit on a committee representing industry, academia, government, research organizations and public interest groups. The committee’s mandate will include site selections for the study, a review of scientific literature, ecological studies, recommendations for test vegetation plots, planting and monitoring of test plots, public consultation and an action plan for re-integrating mine sites into the local environment. Two examples of potential study sites are the former Novaco Mine site at Point Aconi and the former Pioneer Coal mine site near the Sydney airport. “We have success stories right here at home,” said Mr. Taylor. “Former mine sites in Stellarton and Westville are now appropriate for commercial, recreational and residential use, and the town of Stellarton is moving forward on development of lands that have been restored to productive use through mining. We need to gather the best science out there to know how enhanced reclamation can be applied in other areas. ” The first phase of the reclamation study, expected to take two years, will also provide significant research and training opportunities for universities throughout the region.