Fishing and forestry are the traditional sources of employment and economic growth in the District. They remain vital, but are joined by a range of existing and emerging opportunities in the resource sector.
Martin Marietta Inc. is the second largest construction aggregates producer in the United States and the quarry it operates in the District is its only Canadian aggregates operation. The quarry is located on tidewater within the Strait of Canso. Production at the facility has increased significantly in recent years, from two-million tons in 1998 to 4.4 million tons in 2006. The operation furnishes material via self-unloading ships and barges to customers in Nova Scotia, the Eastern and Gulf Coasts of the United States, and the Caribbean.
The Strait of Canso is Canada's second busiest port. The current terminal is capable of handling bulk carrier vessels up to 70,000 ton capacity. The facility employs 100 people. Products lines include fine aggregates, coarse aggregates, granular materials, and drainage materials.A second aggregate quarry is in the planning stages near Canso on the District`s southern coast.
The Municipality has a rich history of mining. Some of the richest gold mines in the province were at Hurricane Pt., Upper Seal Harbour and the vicinity of Goldboro. New, commercially-viable gold deposits have been identified in several locations along with many other promising finds. Gold mining is back, although the magnitude of the industry remains anyone’s guess – but that’s gold mining. Along with gold, deposits of rare earth metals are being uncovered with regularity and mounting interest. A rich mining future in the district is a distinct and profoundly interesting opportunity
Approximately 70 per cent of the 400,840 hectares of land, which comprise Guysborough County, is forested. A little more than half of the timber produced in the County is softwood, while the remainder is mixed wood and hardwood.
There are about 250 - 300 full-time forestry-related jobs in the area, in harvesting, trucking, road building, and silvaculture work. Guysborough County supplies approximately 30 per cent of the wood received by Nova Scotia's pulp and paper mills, around 625,000 cubic meters per year.
In total, the Northeastern region of Nova Scotia produces roughly 50 per cent of the province's pulpwood, 41 per cent of its lumber, and 74 per cent of its whole tree chips.
Christmas Tree Farms are a common sight in Guysborough County. We have ideal growing conditions and generations of acquired skills. The Christmas Tree business provides income for a multitude of people as Tree Farms require year-round attention. This includes shearing during the hottest summer months, planting, fertilizing, cutting, grading, dragging, bailing and loading the trees on transport trucks. There are 2,500 small to large Christmas tree growers in Nova Scotia harvesting 1.5 to 2 million Christmas trees annually, employing 400 people full time and 2,000 part time. Eighty percent of the trees harvested are exported to the United States. Annual sales are around $300,000,000 providing a healthy income for many locals, and top quality Christmas trees to buyers.