Yet More Donkin Debate

We created Morien Resources to be a vehicle of prosperity for Nova Scotians. Its two primary assets, the Donkin Mine and the Black Point Aggregates Project, are located in communities with high unemployment. Many members of these communities have to choose between low paying seasonal jobs or travelling to other provinces for work. Morien’s projects eliminate that choice and build community wealth.

It is very disappointing, but perhaps not unexpected, that some would choose to criticize Kameron Coal, the operator of the Donkin Mine. We were an instrumental part of motivating Glencore/Xstrata to sell the project (they were not interested in its development) and leading the Cline Group to step in and spend $250 million to put the project into operation.

None of this was simple or easy. There were multiple parties involved – the province, two premiers, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Department of Transportation, Glencore/Xstrata, the Cline Group, the Sydney and Donkin communities, the Federal Government and yes, those of us at Morien Resources.

The challenge facing the Donkin project today is not that different than the challenge we faced in getting the project started. It is not the fault of one party, all of the aforementioned list are involved. We want Nova Scotians, many of whom are Morien shareholders, to know that despite the criticisms from people who are not in the bunker with us, that we will be devoting our fullest resources to get the project back into operation and build prosperity for the people of Nova Scotia. For those who wish to help, we would be pleased to take your calls.

John Budreski (Executive Chairman) and Dawson Brisco (CEO and President)
Morien Resources Corp.


Stephen Drake responds:

Keep Our Miners in Cape Breton! signI spent 23 years in the real “bunker” — including six years as president of the coal miners’ union –- lobbying locally and nationally for the opening of Donkin Mine. Any genuinely interested person could simply Google our efforts, at every level of government, to open Donkin under Crown ownership.

That same message was delivered at multiple Senate hearings –- the factual evidence is on the public record. According to the Registry of Joint Stocks, Morien Resources was not on the radar (so not yet ensconced in some air-conditioned bunker) during any part of that prolonged battle. In fact, the registry shows that Morien Resources arrived very, very late to the Donkin game.

Further, when the Cline Group opened Donkin Mine – the front page headline was Tartan and Coal as I applauded the long-awaited announcement.  Who can forget my tartan and coal blood type eh?   Despite recent mewlings to the contrary, my passion for Keeping Our Miners in Cape Breton is unassailable.

I will not go down the rabbit hole of debating any COVID-19 connection to shuttering coal mines except to say that experts are waving the caution flag to ensure that coal miners don’t become the proverbial canary in a coal mine.

My final word on the Donkin closure announcement is this: if Donkin Mine is not dead, forget the spin, and have the Cline Group issue a press release to that effect.

Put more bluntly – prove it.


Stephen J.W. Drake
4th generation coal miner from New Waterford