A past-producing colliery in one of North America's oldest coal mining belts is on its way to resuming production, says a story today in Halifax Media Co-op.
The website says Erdene Resource Development Corp and coal giant Xstrata, who are jointly developing the Donkin coal mine in Cape Breton, on the east coast of Canada, are expected to file their Environmental Impact Statement this summer, with the regulatory process to be finished by mid-2013. A feasibility study and production would follow.
Halifax Media Co-op brings us up to speed on the history of the mine's redevelopment:
Following a decline in world coal prices and in wake of the Westray mining disaster, the development of the Donkin mine was suspended by Cape Breton Development Corp. (CBDC) in 1989, and the tunnels were sealed and flooded in 1992. Then, in June 2006, with the resurgence of global coal commodity prices, Xstrata purchased the site from CBDC and commenced remediation and regulatory activities to re-open the mine.
The underground mine has the potential of producing another 30 years at a rate of 2.75Mtpa, with both metallurgical coal for export and thermal coal for domestic use according to Erdene Resource Development Corp.
The Cape Breton economy was driven by coal throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and up to World War Two it was the largest private employer in Canada, according to Wikipedia. The island has two major coal fields, the Sydney Coal Field in the southeastern part of the island and the smaller Inverness Coal Field in the west part.
Photo of Dominion Coal Company's Reserve Mines Colliery, Cape Breton County, Nova Scotia ca 1900, is found on Wikimedia Commons.