Coal

Disaster Averted?

Disaster Averted?

April 1, 2020 at 12:55 pm

Adding to the general feeling that the world as we know it is coming to an end — and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing — the owners of the Donkin Mine announced on Tuesday they were ending production permanently and putting the mine on “care and maintenance” dueRead More

Donkin mine. (Photo via Morien Resources Inc image gallery http://morienres.com/photo-gallery/)

Reader Appreciates Drake’s Thoughts on Donkin

March 25, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Steve Drake’s informative piece on March 18th was revealing — an excellent explanation of why the roof-falls are continuing and of what might be the only ‘fix’ possible. It appears that supporting the roof at these depths is best done with the steel arches. It would be quite something ifRead More

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

February 14, 2020 at 9:42 am

C’mon MANS I’ve been noticing the Mining Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) tweeting up a storm lately. The tweet threads — some of which are as long as my arm — can be divided into two main categories: The first — I’ll call it the “Ain’t minerals grand?” category —Read More

Power to the People!

Power to the People!

February 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm

I’ve lived in two cities (Toronto and Prague) in which trams (or streetcars, if you prefer) formed an integral part of the municipal transit system and have always had a soft spot for them. I’ve also wanted to write about the tram system that used to connect some parts ofRead More

Letter to the Editor: The Last Strike

Letter to the Editor: The Last Strike

January 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm

Editor’s Note: In January 2019, the federal government announced a plan to end the Cape Breton Development Corporation’s (Devco) coal operations — Phelan Mine was to close in late 2000 and Prince Mine to be sold. The original scheme, as reported by the Globe & Mail’s Kevin Cox, would seeRead More

Grand Narrows rail bridge, Cape Breton. (Spectator photo)

Letter to the Editor: End of the Line?

December 11, 2019 at 1:30 pm

In a letter to the editor dated 16 July 2002 I carefully set out some historic evidence on the long-predicted conversion of coal transportation from rail to road on Cape Breton Island. Given the pending government pronouncement on rail abandonment (or wink, wink “preservation”), I thought some factual background mightRead...

Climate strikers at Civic Centre, Sydney, NS. 27 September 2019. (Spectator photo)

Michelle Smith Asks About Climate Change

October 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Michelle Smith, the Spectator‘s resident gardener and expert on all things agricultural, asked this question of federal candidates in Cape Breton Canso and Sydney-Victoria: Increasingly extreme weather events due to climate change are challenging agricultural producers. Clearly, decisive action needs to be taken to slow or stop the process ofRead...

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

Fast & Curious: Short Takes on Random Things

July 10, 2019 at 11:17 am

Donkin The Donkin Mine saga took an unexpected turn last week with the sudden death of coal baron (and Kameron Collieries owner) Chris Cline in a helicopter crash. Weirdly, this was followed almost immediately by (yet another) rock fall in the mine itself. Fortunately — yet again — nobody wasRead More

And Now, a Word from Your Planet

And Now, a Word from Your Planet

April 24, 2019 at 10:02 am

The hook for this edition of “A Word from Your Planet” is not just weak, it’s downright imaginary — I’m hanging it on Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP)’s grand plans for our port, which I referenced this week in the Cossitt Heights article. In fact, I’m hanging it on aRead More

Donkin mine. (Photo via Morien Resources Inc image gallery http://morienres.com/photo-gallery/)

Mine Safety (and Media Priorities)

February 6, 2019 at 11:36 am

I’m writing on Wednesday morning and the front page of the Cape Breton Post (print edition) features a story about the management of the Donkin coal mine failing to report a “massive roof cave-in,” in contravention of provincial regulations. To be completely factual: the front page of the Post features aRead More