With the reopening of Cape Breton's Donkin coal mine expected in late spring, the province is looking for some guidance on minimizing the greenhouse gases coal mines produce.

The N.S. Department of Environment has issued a tender for the services of a consultant who will report back on the "available options, including technologies and practices, to minimize the carbon footprint of underground coal mining."

The tender, which closes Jan. 15, does not mention the Donkin mine by name.

The Donkin Coking Coal Project's managers, Kameron Coal, expect to cut the first piece of Donkin coal in late spring.

Kameron Coal is a subsidiary of U.S. coal company Cline Group, which bought the mine from Australian company called Xstrata Coal last year.

The mine was dug by the now-defunct Cape Breton Development Corporation but was never worked.

When the corporation folded, the provincial government allowed the mine to flood with ocean water to save the cost of constant pumping.


Kameron Coal has been working over the past number of months to get the former Devco mine ready for production. (CBC)

In recent months, the mine has been pumped out and Kameron Coal has been working to get it ready for production.

The company hopes to attract experienced miners formerly from Cape Breton who want to move back home to work in Donkin and is holding job fairs.

About 30 people are working at the site now and will hire a total of 120 people in several rounds over the next year.

In the tender, the province says the greatest source of greenhouse emissions from the underground coal mine will be "the fugitive emissions of methane that is trapped in the coal-bed. The mine is expected to be a large final emitter of greenhouse gases."

Controlling those emissions will be key to reaching a provincial climate change goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The project has budget of $20,000 with a final report due March 16.