Environmental groups critical of work resumption at Cape Breton's Donkin mine

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HALIFAX — Environmental organizations are criticizing the Nova Scotia government’s decision to allow work to resume at Cape Breton’s Donkin coal mine following a two-year closure.

Tynette Deveaux of Sierra Club Canada says the restart of the mine is a safety concern given the operator’s spotty record, with 152 past warnings for safety violations and 119 non-compliance orders issued by the province since the operation began in February 2017.

Thomas Arnason McNeil of the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre says the mine’s resumption goes against the spirit of the province’s legislated commitment to phase out coal power by 2030.

The provincial Environment Department says it has directed the company to update its greenhouse gas management plan to ensure there are measures in place to mitigate emissions.

In March 2020, owner Kameron Coal Ltd. ceased production citing “adverse geologic conditions” and following a February 2020 roof fall at the mine in which no one was injured.

The provincial Labour Department has said inspectors with its occupational health and safety team were at the site Tuesday as operations resumed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press