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More layoffs, cut backs at Donkin Mine in Cape Breton

For more than three months, the Donkin Mine has been sitting idle waiting for direction from the province of Nova Scotia.

The miners who have been laid off have been left in limbo and this week the people who are still employed received more bad news.

“It was a tough week at the mine. There was more layoffs and the uncertainty surrounding the future of the mine, even the remaining skeleton staff had their hours reduced from 5 days to 3 days,” said James Edwards, Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillor

Fifteen more workers were laid off on Wednesday.

Two rock falls in less than a week in July resulted in a stop work order at the mine.

James Edwards says Kameron Coal is still waiting on results from a Dalhousie geological expert hired by the Department of Labour, Skills, and Immigration

The deadline for that report has just been extended by one month.

Edwards says this is the fourth independent report done on safety underground, with the three other reports coming back positive.

“The government were adamant that they were going to make sure the mine was safe as possible, and nobody disputed that, the problem is the length of time it took to where we are today,” said Edwards

Nova Scotia Labour Minister Jill Balser says she has no definitive date when the mine might reopen, but is expecting to have more information in the coming weeks.

“I do know the consultants visited the mine last week, so we're waiting for their findings,” said Balser

When asked about the province getting out of the mining businesses, Balser said the delay is more about safety and getting it right before removing the stop work order.

“I completely appreciate where the miners and workers are coming from this probably feels like a very lengthy process, so we are thinking about them and about their safety,” she said.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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