Provincial documents suggest officials took 15 days to report cave-in

Provincial documents say officials at an undersea Cape Breton coal mine broke a regulation by not reporting a massive roof cave-in until government inspectors showed up 15 days after the rock crashed down.

Documents obtained through freedom-of-information legislation outline the inspections, citations and fines imposed on the Donkin mine's owner, Kameron Coal.

The mine recently resumed limited production after the province suspended operations following six cave-ins in four months.

Nobody was hurt in the collapses, but when the first cave-in occurred on Sept. 18th, inspectors say it went unreported until they arrived on October 3rd and asked why the mine was closed.

The documents say managers of the colliery also didn't initially report a second, October 1st cave-in.

The documents say both collapses had spanned the entire six-metre width of a passage, as slabs of rock fell and left a ceiling gap up to almost four metres deep.

The subsidiary of a U.S.-based Cline Mining Corporation declined to specifically comment on why it didn't immediately report the cave-ins.

The firm sent an email attributed to Shannon Campbell, Kameron's vice president of project development, that said the company is working closely with the inspectors to resolve the roof issue.