OHS Canada Magazine

Nova Scotia lifts stop work order at Donkin coal mine following roof falls

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December 27, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety Coal Mining Donkin Mining

A group of miners. Photo: Adobe Stock

The stop work order for the Donkin coal mine has been lifted and the company can resume production if it chooses to do so, according to Nova Scotia’s Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration.

The mine’s operator, Kameron Coal Management Ltd., has met the Phase 1 safety requirements from its most recent compliance order, including:

  • updating the hazard assessment classification system
  • adding further monitoring measures in the tunnel.

“The Department is satisfied that Kameron Coal has met the conditions outlined in the compliance order,” said Scott Nauss, the Department’s Senior Executive Director of Safety. “We will continue with strong oversight of this complex worksite to help ensure the company is doing the right things to keep workers safe.”

The Department hired mine expert Andrew Corkum to help review mitigation work by the company in tunnels 2 and 3 to determine if it meets current safety standards and industry best practices. The age, weathering and geology of the mine were also reviewed to determine the root cause of roof falls.

His report, released Nov. 15, included a two-phase approach to address issues including seasonal changes and humidity.


Phase 2 requires the company to hire an independent third-party engineer with specialized experience in mining and tunnelling to review the mine’s ground control plan before February 29. The mine can operate during the winter months when humidity is lower and not impacting the mine’s infrastructure.

The stop work order had been in place since July 15 after a significant roof fall in Tunnel 2; a smaller roof fall happened on July 9. There were no injuries reported from either incident.


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