Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Nova Scotia lifts stop work order at Donkin mine

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The Donkin mine has complied with part of the requirements requested by the province. (Archive photo)


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Five months after a landslide in the coal mine located in Cape Breton, the Ministry of Labor has lifted the order cessation of work within the installation. But the date of resumption of production is not yet known.

After this incident, the owner of the mine, Kameron Coal, had to comply with a number of safety requirements in order to obtain approval from the province to restart production.

These requirements include updating its safety plan and improving monitoring of roof stability in the mine tunnels.

The department is satisfied that Kameron Coal has met the conditions imposed by the compliance order, wrote Scott Nauss, senior administrative director for safety in a press release issued Wednesday.

Kameron Coal was not available for comment on the province's decision.

After the roof of a tunnel collapsed this summer, the government commissioned a report from Dalhousie University geology expert Andrew Corkum.

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Its report, published in mid-November, concludes that landslides mainly occur when humidity is high inside the tunnels and recommends reopening the mine in two phases.

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The Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton.

Kameron Coal has met the conditions of the first phase, according to the province. To comply with the second phase, the company has until February 29 to hire an independent engineer who will monitor the mine's soil.

In any case, production can only resume during the winter when humidity levels are lower.

The mine owner laid off all employees between July and November.

According to a Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor, it was unclear when laid-off mine employees will be able to return to work. But he judges that the province's decision is positive.

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Before production stopped, 130 people worked full time in the mine. (File photo)

I am pleased that the stop work order has been lifted. This is good news but it does not mean that the mine will reopen imminently, he explained.

According to him, some Laid-off miners have gone West to find work so it could take some time for the company to assemble and possibly train staff.

Based on a report by Tom Ayers, CBC

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