Environmental advocate says selling coal represents ‘huge step backward’
The Canadian Press – A provincial cabinet minister from Cape Breton admits the day is coming when the world won’t need coal — but right now it does and he’s celebrating the rebirth of mining it on the island.
The Donkin mine began production earlier this week, marking the return of coal mining more than 15 years after Prince Colliery in Point Aconi shut down, ending 280 years of underground mining in Cape Breton.
“Obviously there is a need for coal in the international markets. We need it for energy, we need it for steelmaking,” said Geoff MacLellan, who represents Glace Bay in the provincial legislature. “Until the world doesn’t need it — and I think that day is coming, quite frankly, the Donkin mine officials know that that day is coming — we’re going to produce it for as long as we can.”
Kameron Coal Management Ltd., a subsidiary of U.S. mining giant Cline Group, said 64 employees and contractors are now working at the mine. As production slowly ramps up, the total workforce is expected to climb to 140.
One environmental advocate said while it’s true that economically depressed Cape Breton could use the jobs, the fact is that Nova Scotia’s green economy is producing far more jobs than the coal industry and selling coal doesn’t make sense.
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