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The Donkin Coal Mine in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Photo: File Photo.

Rally Tuesday for Donkin Coal Mine workers

By Caitlin Snow Nov 20, 2023 | 12:14 PM

A rally is being held for Donkin Coal Mine workers in Cape Breton.

The mine is under a Stop Work Order after two roof falls in July.

According to a new report, the province said some things need to be addressed, including fixing the roof and dealing with humidity, and until things are fixed, they can’t lift the SWO.

However, Councillor for District 8, James Edwards said 130 jobs have been lost during the four-month SWO. The mine might even be closed permanently after one of the longest SWO’s in Nova Scotia’s history.

“The order was put in place after a July 15 roof fall that did not cause any injuries or damage to equipment. In fact, no fatalities or serious injuries have ever resulted from roof falls at Donkin and the Department of Labour has not received any comments from mine staff suggesting unsafe work conditions, according to media reports,” Edwards said on Facebook.

Edwards added, owner Kameron Collieries not only had to lay off employees, but keep the mine idle, costing him $1 million a week.

Edwards said a third-party review in the summer, concluded the mine was safe, but despite that, the provincial government hired another third party to review the work, delaying lifting the SWO even more.

He adds that all full production, Kameron would be the sixth largest private sector employer in Cape Breton, with Donkin’s mining jobs paying $80,000 per year before bonuses and overtime.  The GDP impact to the Cape Breton economy, he said, over its anticipated 25-year mine life, was expected to be about $1.6 billion.

The rally will be Tuesday at noon at Miner’s Museum.