The status of the work to clean up the deteriorating MV Miner is up in the air after a deadline set by the Bennington Group passed last night.
The New York-based company was hired to remove the wrecked ship off Scatarie Island. But the head of the Bennington Group, Abe Shah, threatened to walk away from the project because of delays.
Last week, the province ordered the company to provide an engineering report on whether the salvage could be done safely.
The report was completed but it's still under review from the province.
Shah set last night as the deadline for the project's approval.
Speaking to Information Morning: Cape Breton Wednesday, Premier Darrell Dexter said he had yet to hear from the company.
"[Shah] tends to speak through the media," Dexter said. "We did receive the engineering report from him a short time ago, it's being reviewed by the department."
Dexter said they weren't prepared to rush the process.
"You can't compound a problem by sending workers onto an unsafe worksite, and potentially putting people's lives at risk."
Dexter didn't want to speculate on what would happen if the Bennington Group walks away.
He said the federal government is ultimately to blame for the situation by failing to ensure the proper safeguards when the MV Miner was being towed through Canadian waters.
The vessel has been grounded off Cape Breton's coast for more than a year.
It was being towed to Turkey to be scrapped when the towline snapped.