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Stop work order remains in effect at Cape Breton mine as fire investigation continues

Stop work order remains in effect at Cape Breton mine as fire investigation continues

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Labour Department says a stop-work order remains in effect as the investigation continues into the cause of a weekend fire at a Cape Breton coal mine.

No one was hurt in Sunday’s fire at the Donkin mine, where provincial safety officials ordered a halt to underground production.

The Labour Department said Monday the mine had received 23 warnings, 28 compliance orders and 11 administrative penalties or fines since reopening in mid-September.

The department says in an email that the citations handed to mine owner Kameron Coal Management Ltd. followed 16 safety inspections.

Gary O’Toole, an official with the department’s safety branch, says the number of citations issued to the company isn’t surprising given the frequency of inspections and the complexities of underground mining.

Before it reopened last year the mine was shuttered in March 2020 amid slumping coal prices and roof collapses that led to repeated government stop-work orders.

Between mid-January and April 26, the mine received nine warnings, nine compliance orders and three administrative penalties or fines. Among those citations include a Feb. 24 warning about a improperly maintained conveyor pull cord, and an April 19 warning about an incorrectly installed roof-monitoring device.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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