Nova Scotia has joined the federal government in giving the green light to environmental assessment approvals for the Donkin mining project.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau signed off on Thursday in a letter to Val Istomin, a business development manager with GlencoreXstrata, which took over Xstrata Coal in May of this year.

Istomin says the company can now discuss its options for the project with joint venture partner, Morien Resources.

The company decided to sell its 75 per cent share in the Cape Breton mine April 2012. Istomin says the fact that Donkin now has its approvals in place means a buyer may find the mine a much more attractive option.

He says the mine will open in 2014, whether or not it is sold.