Nova Scotia’s Donkin coal mine suspends work after most current ‘roofing fall’|CTV News Atlantic

DONKIN, N.S.– Operations have actually been suspended at Cape Breton’s Donkin coal mine after a “roof fall,” the latest in a string of events because last July, according to the provincial Labour Department.

None of the mine’s 128 workers were within at the time of the Dec. 28 incident, however work has been suspended until the company, Kameron Collieries ULC, finishes an expert evaluation of operations and set of suggestions for the Labour Department’s approval.

Scott Nauss of the Labour Department said the province’s only underground coal mine– its twin tunnels extend 3 kilometres under the Atlantic Ocean– has actually seen six roof falls given that July.

The department revoked the mine’s ground control license after the current occurrence since the origin wasn’t instantly evident and because of the repeating pattern.

“Safety is a leading priority for my department and coal mining, as you know, is a high threat industry and we are treating it accordingly,” Nauss said in an interview.

Nauss said roofing falls have different levels of threat depending on where they occur in the mine and how much material falls. For example, roof falls in a mine’s travel pass have more easily identifiable origin.

Nauss said he couldn’t provide details on just how much product fell from the ceiling on Dec. 28, and where exactly the occurrence took place inside the mine.

There is no present timeline for when the mine will send its evaluation to the department. Nauss stated it depends on the company and its ground control professional to complete the work.

“At this point, the ball remains in the employer’s court to investigate, propose restorative steps, and after that our role will be to review those corrective measures to guarantee their adequacy,” he stated.

Mine spokesperson Shannon Campbell released a statement explaining the occurrence as “particular unfavorable geologic conditions beyond our control.”

“We have actually gotten in touch with experts in this field to assist us in conducting a thorough evaluation of the mine strategy and, if necessary, modify these plans and procedures,” the declaration read.

“While we hope we can solve this matter quickly and return to work, our top concern as always, is the security of our staff members and specialists.”

The mine’s employees are not unionized and the company decreased to talk about whether they will get payment while operations are forever suspended, “out of respect for personal privacy.”

The Donkin mine resumed operating in 2017, assuring well-paying tasks for the financially depressed region, however it has grappled with ecological criticisms and issues about working conditions because then.

During the very first 3 months of operation, Nova Scotia’s Labour Department released 10 compliance orders and 29 cautions for violations of work environment security and underground mining regulations, according to the Cape Breton Post.

Less than a year into operations, news broke that 49 workers at the mine had actually been let go with 8 weeks pay.

In a declaration Thursday, Tammy Martin of the provincial NDP called for a miners’ union to much better safeguard the employees’ health and wellness.

“It’s awful to consider what might have happened if there had been employees in the mine when this roof collapsed,” Martin stated.

“Consistently, the Liberal federal government has only reacted to health and safety issues after they happen, instead of stopping issues before they start. It’s only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt.”

– By Holly McKenzie-Sutter in St. John’s, N.L.


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