Glencore has reached a tentative agreement with a company that could see the Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton brought into production.
“We believe the mine is an attractive prospect for Nova Scotia and once opened, could provide significant economic benefits for Cape Breton and Nova Scotia,” said Natural Resources Minister Zach Churchill.
A long-term supply of Donkin coal could also help reduce electricity costs for Nova Scotians and lessen the need for imported coal.
“The Donkin mine will be a huge boost to the regional economy through buying goods and services, and providing direct and indirect jobs,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan.
That department would be responsible for any provincial road improvements needed to access the mine.
For production to begin, water must be pumped out of the mine and infrastructure has to be built on the site. The government needs to carry out a due diligence process, before work can begin, to ensure the new owner has a sound plan that emphasizes worker safety, the technical ability to operate a mine of this scale, and adequate financing to develop the project. It may be several years before the Donkin mine could be in full production.
No government funding is required or has been requested to bring the project into production.
Coal has been mined in the Donkin region since the early 1860s. The Department of Environment approved this operation in 2013, following an environmental assessment.