Nova Scotia

Kameron Coal postpones Donkin seismic testing

Kameron Coal has suspended its plan to conduct seismic testing off Donkin Mine in favour of more consultation with the community.

Fisherman glad for 'reprieve,' but says fishermen will continue to meet with company to 'work out something'

Fisherman Herb Nash plans to stay in talks with Kameron over testing. (CBC)

Kameron Coal has suspended its plan to conduct seismic testing in the waters near the Donkin mine in order to consult with the community about the project.

In a news release, Kameron said it decided to postpone the testing program until later next year to give the company more time to answer questions and address community concerns.

"We have a great working relationship with our stakeholders and we respect their concerns," the release said.

However, the company said the testing will proceed next year, "as this is essential to help us better understand the geology of the mine."

The plan for seismic testing has come under fire from fishermen worried that it could hurt lobster stocks in the area.

Meetings to continue

Fisherman Herb Nash is glad to get a reprieve.

"We did not want to come down and get a court injunction and everything and making bad friends and that," he said. "It gives us another year to try to work out something that can work for both of us."

He said if nothing changes in a year, "we'll have our arguments at that time."

Nash said the fishermen will continue to meet with the mine owners to discuss the issue.

Kameron Coal was given the green light to test above its coal mine, which extends out under the fishing grounds off Donkin and Glace Bay.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Kameron doesn't need approval under either the Fisheries Act or the Species at Risk Act because the "survey is considered small-scale and of a short duration."

"No impacts to fisheries are expected because of the relatively low sound levels that will be generated and the limited spatial extent and short-term nature of the survey," the department said.