The Only Underground Coal Mine in Canada Has Reopened

The Donkin mine of Kameron Coal has resumed after receiving government approval from the Nova Scotia administration. Morien Resources announced in a statement that the government has granted regulatory authority to revive the mine, which has been on preservation since March 2020.

Production at Cape Breton’s last producing coal mine began in 2017 but was halted two and a half years later owing to underground geological problems. There were 14 roof falls documented at the Donkin plant. Work staff stayed on-site during the closure to keep tunnels aired and dry.

Even after it was shut down, the mine experienced criticism from a variety of sources, including local community organizations and environmental groups. Concerns regarding the noise emitted by the two big industrial fans required to ventilate the mine were raised by the local opposition.

According to a coalition representative, more than 60 area houses are affected by what she refers to as mine noise pollution. She also mentioned mine hazards as a problem shared by communities in the area.

Meanwhile, the Beyond Coal Atlantic campaign has been a vocal opponent of the mine’s revival. The group has long advocated for reducing fossil fuel use, citing the province’s 2030 aim for phasing out the coal-fired power supply.

Concerns regarding the mine’s safety record were raised in one investigation. It also emphasized the environmental ramifications of coal, which emits more carbon dioxide during combustion than any other conventional fuel.

The coal mined in Donkin is mostly deepwater metallurgical coal, also termed coking coal, which can be used to make steel, instead of thermal coal, which is used to heat buildings and homes.

Metallurgical coal emits up to two times as much CO2 as thermal coal and accounts for 5% of worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

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