Possible re-opening of Cape Breton coal mine opposed by environmental group

DONKIN, N.S. — Considered one of Canada’s main environmental advocacy organizations is asking for the everlasting closure of the Donkin coal mine.

By its Past Coal Atlantic marketing campaign, the Sierra Membership Canada needs to use public stress to make sure that the presently-idled underground Cape Breton mine by no means opens once more. 

Mine proprietor Kameron Coal, a part of the worldwide Cline Group that was headed by the late West Virginian billionaire and coal magnate Chris Cline, ceased mining operations on the Donkin pit in March 2020 citing “hostile geological situations” as the rationale for the closure. Nonetheless, the mine will not be sealed and all of the tools stays on website together with a small workforce that’s employed to maintain the mine ventilated and dry whereas idle.

On condition that, and the truth that coal is promoting at an all-time excessive of just about $400 USD per tonne, opponents of the mine have expressed concern that will probably be re-opened in some unspecified time in the future. 

Past Coal Atlantic marketing campaign coordinator Tynette Deveaux stated she finds it baffling that there’s even the potential for the mine to re-open given Nova Scotia’s goal of eliminating coal-burning energy vegetation from the province by 2030.

“We’re lastly squaring off with the Donkin mine,” stated Deveaux.

“It’s very clear from reviewing the minutes from the most recent neighborhood liaison committee assembly that Kameron Coal had with a number of neighborhood members that the re-opening of the mine might be imminent. That’s very regarding.”

Issues expressed

Deveaux cited the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change and the Worldwide Vitality Company suggestions that the world should make a fast transition away from fossil fuels, particularly coal, if the planet has any likelihood holding world warming to 1.5 C.

“It is a dialog that’s larger than Kameron Coal and the handful of people who find themselves advocating for the mine,” stated Deveaux.

Sierra Membership marketing campaign clear power researcher Maggie Bunbury instructed that the Donkin mine, even when idled, is constant to emit “fugitive” methane emissions.

“That’s why they need to have these air flow followers on the mine entrance working on a 24/7 foundation,” stated Bunbury.

“These followers are giving off dangerous low-frequency noises that native residents have described as ‘sleep torture.’ The one strategy to cease the methane emissions and the noise from the followers is to shut the mine for good.”

Within the meantime, the followers are persevering with to run and space residents are nonetheless reporting the disturbing noises.

“The noises are nonetheless taking place and relying on their location some persons are listening to them from as far-off as 10 kilometres,” stated Catherine Fergusson, who’s a member of the Cow Bay Environmental Coalition. “I’d say there are greater than 60 households affected by the noise air pollution.”

Fergusson added that together with environmental issues and noise air pollution, the protection of mine employees should be thought-about provided that the underground system has skilled 14 roof falls.

For its half, Kameron Coal should quickly resolve whether or not or to not apply for a renewal of its industrial approval that expires in September. The corporate would additionally need to receive at the very least two different regulatory approvals earlier than it might resume mining.

If the corporate opts to not reopen the Donkin facility, the mine would ultimately be flooded, a course of consultants say will happen naturally, as soon as pumping operations have stopped.

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