Donkin given environmental go-ahead

OUTGOING Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent has submitted a positive environmental assessment decision for Xstrata’s Donkin coking coal project on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.

Donna Schmidt

The approval, dated July 15 and announced late Tuesday by 25% project holder Morien, indicated that the planned complex would likely not cause significant adverse environmental effects and its mitigation measures and follow-up program were appropriate.

The government official must decide on such projects under Section 125 of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act of 2012.

Kent has referred the project back to the responsible authorities, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada, for appropriate action.

“Morien considers this decision by the federal minister of the environment as the passing of a major milestone for the Donkin project and will work diligently with other stakeholders to advance the project in a timely manner,” officials said.

A full text of the approval is available through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency website.

Donkin is expected to produce about 3.6 million tonnes annually, likely via longwall and continuous miner operations, for a projected 30-year lifespan.

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