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Report on Business Nova Scotia allows limited production increase at mine where roof collapsed

Nova Scotia’s Labour Department has allowed a limited increase in production at Canada’s only operating underground coal mine after a series of roof collapses last year.

Kameron Coal’s operations in Cape Breton were suspended for just under a month by the province in late December before it was allowed to partially resume activities in one portion of the mine while it prepared a revised roof support plan.

Scott Nauss, the province’s senior director of inspection compliance, said the new plan approved on May 7 allows Kameron to mine in two sections of the Donkin mine totalling 730 metres of added rock face, which is less than 10 per cent of the mine.

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Mr. Nauss said in an interview Wednesday the province is still in discussions with the American-owned colliery to provide an approved plan on ventilation, electrical operations and mining operations.

Mr. Nauss said it’s only when those three additional aspects are in place and approved that the full mine will be allowed to go back into production.

New measures for roof safety include roof bolts that are about 61 centimetres longer and more frequent inspections to see if there is any sign of roof movement.

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