Stop work order partially lifted at Cape Breton’s Donkin coal mine

Workers repair the road leading to the Donkin coal mine in Donkin, N.S., on December 13, 2004. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Nova Scotia’s Labour Department says a stop work order has been partially lifted at the Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton.

Production was shut down Feb. 13 after a rockfall in an area of the mine that saw another roof collapse two weeks earlier.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia mines minister says safety a priority after rockfall at Donkin Mine

There were no injuries reported in either incident, which occurred at an intersection between two coal seams inside the underground operation.

The stop work order remains in effect for that area, but the province’s senior director of inspection compliance says work was allowed to resume Friday in the area of the mine that wasn’t affected by the collapse.

Scott Nauss says Kameron Collieries must now use longer, six-metre bolts to further stabilize the mine’s roof and must also conduct more monitoring of roof conditions.

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READ MORE: Cape Breton coal mine to reopen rock face where small methane fire broke out

He says the stop work order will not be entirely lifted until the department receives a report from the company on what caused the rockfall, as well as proposed measures to prevent a recurrence.

The latest rockfalls follow a roof collapse in July 2019, as well as two other rockfalls in December 2018.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2020.

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